Up to 4,000 fans at sporting events is not much of a positive step forward

Morning all.

So some positive news last night with regards to fans returning to games as it was announced 4,000 fans could attend sporting events in lower restriction area (or 2,000 if you are under Tier 2).

But how positive actually is it?

London went into Tier 3 lockdown just before the whole country plunged into stricter nationwide restrictions. It is highly unlikely that it will be taken straight out of current restrictions and placed into the lowest.

The best we can hope for is Tier 2, which will allow 2,000 fans into grounds. The likelihood, however, is that London will be in Tier 3 from 2nd December – which would result in no fans being in grounds.

2,000 fans at the Emirates Stadium will not really be worth it.

I have been to youth games in the ground with just a couple of thousand fans and it does feel a barren wasteland.

At the youth games there are usually a few hundred away fans so at least there is a small atmosphere as we tend to drift towards those blocks nearest them.

If the fans are spread throughout the lower tier, the ground will feel a cold, silent place.

I am also baffled why it is only 2,000 (or 4,000).

Arsenal’s ground is 60,000 capacity. Leyton Orient’s Brisbane Road is 9,000. Both would have a capacity of 4,000 under the lowest restrictions.

Some clubs have also said they will actually lose money by opening up their grounds for just 2,000-4,000 fans, questioning whether they will decide to keep them shut until restrictions are further lifted.

And what for fans travelling from Tier 3 areas into Tier 2 or 1? Would they be allowed to go to games? Or would clubs have to exclude them?

Around 15,000 Arsenal fans opted-in to the ballot for tickets under restrictions, but with fans having an opt-out option when it comes to buying the tickets, many will probably make the decision to pass on their tickets until capacity rises.

So whilst the news is a step forward, it perhaps is not a big enough step forward.

In other Arsenal news, the club had to release a statement yesterday following abuse directed at Nicolas Pepe and Ezgjan Alioski.

We have spoken time and again about the cesspit of social media, and mainly Twitter.

Twitter allows people to open accounts under the cloak of anonymity which allows them to abuse others. People boast about having “burner accounts” that they use to abuse others.

Looking through a lot of the accounts throwing out abuse, the majority look to be children and fans from foreign shores. People whose brains have not evolved enough to understand that this abuse is wrong. They believe this abuse is “banter”.

Racial abuse, death threats, posting addresses, etc is no banter.

The problem is clubs can not do much about it.

They can try and track the person down, and if they have a membership cancel it. But that is a pointless act if they are a 14 year old from Croydon or some grown man from Nigeria.

It is Twitter that really need to act but only allowing people to open an account using government issued ID.

It reminds me of the film Nerve.

People are brave when they are hiding behind anonymity, thinking that no one can touch them, find them, know who they are. Once that anonymity drops, they attitude changes immediately.

Would these people really be sending the abuse they do if their loved ones, their parents, wife or children or colleagues could see what they were saying? The answer is no.

There is less abuse on Facebook and Instagram than Twitter and YouTube because it is not as easy to be anonymous.

Have a good Tuesday.



1 thought on “Up to 4,000 fans at sporting events is not much of a positive step forward

  1. Charlie Moore

    It shouldn’t even be a consideration of opening up football grounds. We are in lockdown because the government didn’t suppress the virus in the summer, allowed students to go to university, had an eat out to help out promo that not only stimulated the economy but also the infection rates. They are now telling us on one hand not to have large family gatherings at Christmas and on the other saying its ok for 4000 sports fans to congregate while we are in the middle of a second wave. Do they want a third wave before everyone is vaccinated? Just do the right thing and allow grounds to open up next season when most of the population has had access to the COVID jab,



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