Nigel Kahn’s Column
It’s a bit early to be speculating on when football or in fact, life, will return to what we knew it to be before we had ever heard of Covid19. Its still too early to make a judgement on that, although I still believe that whenever that is you just pick up and finish were we left off then start again.
For the owners, though, the postponement of the season has brought a reprieve from the mainly negative press they had been getting, deservedly for me. The mainstream media were having a field day with our ownership and its lackey, helped by their banning of fellow journalists and the protest movement growing in numbers.
It’s possible the two went hand in hand. The journalists smelt blood and the protests were like a gift to them allowing them to continue writing articles except with new perspective from protest leaders and organisers. These articles breathed life into the protests taking them off social media from where their strong base was and making them mainstream. But with no football now taking place, the list of games where protests were planned have ceased to be played and with the possibility of football only returning behind closed doors then that will not only exclude fans, but stop any protest from happening as well.
What is the future though? The world is going through an unprecedented catastrophe that is suspending our way of life and sometimes when that happens it allows you to stop, pause, and rethink how you feel and perhaps consider behaving better in the future.
Football clubs at the moment have no income coming in – no fans in stadiums or going to the club shops. Season ticket money is normally divided up into 19 portions and then paid out after every game goes by, but then season ticket money does not bankroll a football club for 6 months let alone a full season. TV money is the driving force in the top division.
If no football is being played will the full money of the contract be paid? Ally that with the fact that with no live TV many are cancelling their subscriptions to the TV companies so it would pressure them into not paying the full contract if the games are not played. Through all this time, though, the players and staff will expect to be paid.
The owners will be the obvious port of call if they want to have a club that can survive and thrive in the Premier League.
Once life and with it football resumes, will fans still than still want to protest against owners who like them or not have kept the club going through this situation? If the season resumes, surely all our focus should be on the team, not distracted for minute by protests no matter what the situation is.
Don’t get me wrong, im not changing my stance or belief that the club will be better off by the current regime leaving. I will never stop looking forward to the day they leave as it is the only way I can see the cycle of turmoil ending as for me it’s no coincidence that there are only protests when the club are in relegation dog fight, so for as long as we struggle there will be the stick of lies to beat them with. What they said in the years before the move will always hang round them until they leave.
What I won’t have now is an appetite to protest or to drive them out by creating even more chaos as that is what the protest will bring. I still believe they should be criticised if needed and once football resumes I will just look forward to being able to go watch them play. I will be grateful that I can watch them play as the world will never be the same after this pandemic comes to an end, and if the world changes why shouldn’t football and us as fans change as well?