As a long standing match going Manchester City fan, I tend to be follow routines.
Here in 2020 as a Manchester City fan I have reached a point where almost nothing is familiar and nothing is set in stone. Almost everything appears like smoke, drifting in the ether as various pundits and newspaper columnists discuss the options for football’s eventual return.
There used to be a certain regularity I could rely upon and set my calendar around. I knew when the season would end and begin. I knew how long the close season would last.
In 2020 the global coronavirus pandemic has changed all of that. Where there was certainty there is now only conjecture.
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In many ways even the discussion in the media about the conditions which need to be met in order for football to resume, seems indecent. There are people dying and although in the UK there are some signs of the spread being controlled, there are still terrifying possibilities about second waves and further outbreaks.
But as a matchgoing Manchester City fan, as I said earlier, I am a creature of routines. There is a matchday ritual to follow, and a build up to a game which starts many days before.
Right now, none of these distractions are in place. The thought of a resumption of football – even behind closed doors – appears remote. Football without match going fans is without doubt as unappealing a thought as I can muster, but nevertheless there is a belief that football will return with no fans in the stadium.
That will present a real dilemma for me. My habits and routines around attending football games will diminish. The appetite for spending the time and money will diminish, especially in the knowledge that matchgoing fans are not considered an important part of the experience, by the authorities in charge or even the clubs.
There are even some players who have said that a return behind closed doors will be welcome, which of course just makes me think I will never applaud those players saying that again, or endorse their brands.
If we accept that football will return and that initially at least that will be behind closed doors, the question remains as to what football exactly should resume?
The media clamour to annoint Liverpool is a distraction masking the reality. We have all moved on. Returning to play the last 9 or 10 games of last season just seems pointless.
Returning with a new competition, played under different exigent circumstances would be more palatable.
Football right now is at a crossroads and Manchester City will have to navigate these times carefully. If clubs want fans to return to watching games when it is safe to do so, much consideration will have to be given to achieving that.
We are at a point where one wrong turn will leave Manchester City with 15000 less season card holders and stadiums worryingly empty.
Right now, I am realising that there are million other things to spend my time and money on and wooing back a generation of football fans may be harder than it seems.