Football’s failure to properly plan for a contingency that has been brewing for decades could further impact teams and leagues beyond just a free weekend, especially when match congestion hits even harder. than expected, but also the next weekend already, when London will receive unprecedented crowds for the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II.
The funeral itself is scheduled for Monday, September 18 at 11 a.m. local time, but the Queen will rest in state at Westminster for four days for the public to pay homage to him in person. And that should certainly draw record numbers of people to the capital, which will also need virtually every available police and security resource. (Unlike this weekend, where police concerns were much less extraordinary.)
The decision to call off games this weekend has thrown the Premier League into a corner when it comes to scheduling, with pressure now to stage games next weekend while still in the period of mourning of 10 days. But like AthleticismDetails of the report, the three due to take place in London on Saturday and Sunday (Spurs v LeicesterBrentford v Arsenal, Chelsea v liverpool) have very little logistical chance of occurring.
Obviously there are even talks going on about the possibility of changing teams home and away, and playing the matches reversed now instead, but doing something like that presents all sorts of different challenges and just as difficult – staffing, sports, planning, etc. And in the case of Brentord versus Arsenal, the reverse game would also be in London, so that doesn’t help.
As every other professional sport has shown, the reasonable response would have been to hold games this weekend as planned and postpone next weekend’s games for the actual funeral of such an important figure in the British history. Unlike the Queen herself, football’s governing bodies continue to show they are ill-suited to their purpose.
Changing venues for Premier League matches in London next weekend is one of several options being discussed. It would be a big logistical call and clubs would be reluctant to stage games at short notice.
Story here: https://t.co/kP13y3bcSH
— Jack Pitt-Brooke (@JackPittBrooke) September 10, 2022
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