• Michael Smyth

The Premier League Back in Action

The most viewed football league in the world is returning! Despite the fact that the English Premier League season is drawing to an end, the league has been able to bring back its exhilarating atmosphere and excitement, while still adhering to social distancing measures that need to take place in England. This being due to the fact that England has been heavily impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic. The league has come out in support of the Black Lives Matter movement too, and is standing out as a glimmer of hope during these difficult times the world at large is facing.

The football frenzy kicked off on Wednesday 17 June 2020 with a heavy-hitting game between Arsenal and the reigning champions, Manchester City. In addition, Aston Villa took on the fierce Sheffield United. The weekend also attracted many fans that have not had any fixtures to watch for the last few months. It has been ruled that the remaining season will be played out to determine the champions of the 2019/2020 season. This is hopeful news, as many other footballing tournaments and leagues have not resumed, been cancelled or have been postponed to a later stage due to the ongoing pressures of the pandemic.

However, not everything can resume back to the normal state of affairs. There are still extremely strict measures that need to be maintained and adhered to regarding fixtures being played. One rule is that substitutes need to maintain social distancing on the side of the field and cannot conventionally sit next to each other anymore. The biggest blow to all parties involved though, is that fans are not allowed to watch these games live at the various stadiums. This is a major setback for fans and players alike, both finding a lot of motivation from the unparalleled atmosphere that a live game provides. This is, however, not the end for the fans’ football experiences. Many supporters are able to “Zoom call” into the match and technically watch the game live as their faces appear on the screens at the stadium. Only a few high-ranking executives and managers have permission to attend the games live.

Not only was the Premier League able to bring back the return of the league, they have also shown promise in supporting the cause of Black Lives Matter, a campaign that has gained widespread recognition in recent months. “As the kick-off whistle echoed throughout the empty football stadium, everyone took a knee. As the camera panned over the scene, you could see all the players’ names were removed from their shirts and were replaced with the words Black Lives Matter as the entire Premier League joined the international demonstrations following the murder of George Floyd,” said Al Neal, a reporter for the People’s World. This was all preluded by a moment of silence taken by all people present in the stadium.

The sporting industry has suffered tremendous losses during the Coronavirus Crisis, as almost all activities have had to cease worldwide during various national lockdowns. The resumption of the Premier League provides hope that revenue will once again being to circulate through the economy by means of the sporting industry. This was a major concern for the world, but fortunately many professionals will be able to resume their occupations with the phasing in of the sporting activities in the United Kingdom and across the globe.

Everyone is eager about the return of the Premier League in these tough times. It is a glimmer of hope, while most of the world is still in quite a dire state. There is still a long way to go in terms of the aftermath and effects of the Coronavirus, but for now, families can coop up together at home and enjoy some good football with their favourite teams.

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