This time next week football will be back, and boy do we need it.
A month ago, I did not see the point of the season restarting.
Safety of players could not be guaranteed and the proposal of neutral venues alongside expiring contracts would bring into question the integrity of the competition.
My view was simple. Crown Liverpool champions, and void the rest of the season. No promotion, no relegation, European places are based on last years positions. 2020/21 European football broadcast money split evenly between every Premier League side.
But with where the world is at the moment, we need football. We need that escape.
Virus fatigue has set in. People on Twitter are in a spiral. Arguing the same points they were months ago, to the same people. It is groundhog day.
You then have the Black Lives Matter protests following the murder of George Floyd.
What begun as peaceful, justified protests have been hijacked by anarchists intent on causing trouble.
We are now to a point where people have gone stir crazy. We are seeing people demand statues across the UK be taken down – from Nelson’s Column and Winston Churchill to Francis Drake and others.
Now whilst I agree that some of the statues should not stand, mob rule has taken over. A few hundred pulling statues down is not democracy. The people within the constituencies that the statues sit should decide if they remain. Parties should state their position in the next council elections and let the people decide.
I have always strayed away from sharing my political opinion. Whether that be my position on Brexit (I voted to leave), my voting intention at General Elections (I have not voted in the last 2) or whatever. I realise I am dangerously close to turning this into a political blog.
We need a change of narrative in this country. It has been months and months of depressing news headlines. Negative stories. It has led the country to be in a really bad mind set where idiots are boycotting tea brands and people are considering going out this weekend to “protect” their local statue.
We need football.
For decades, football has been the man on the Clapham omnibuses escape from the world.
You do a hard weeks work, down a mine, in a factory or on a building site. Then at a weekend you go down the football. You scream, you shout, you cheer, you drink. You drink drink together in the name of the AFC. You have arguments, maybe even in a punch up, if that is your thing.
For well over a century, Saturday’s have given people a reason to live, to get through the week. To battle on.
More then ever now we need that relief, that escape.
It will be different. Watching at home alone, or in your garden with a few mates. But with games coming thick and fast, the distraction will exist.
We can get back to the important arguments on Twitter. Who had a good game? who was pony? Should the manager stay or go? Why did he drop him? Why did he play him? Who are we going to sign this summer?
England is on the brink of anarchy at the moment due to the behaviour of a minority. Hopefully football will give the majority something else to focus on, to immerse in.
A week today we play Manchester City.
I can not wait.