When will Season 20/21 realistically begin?

Kirby Knitters

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Changing shirts at the break would be a non starter for many clubs below step 4 as they only have one home and one away kit so there would be problems with colour clashes.
 

Cherryhopper

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Or they could do a Phil Brown and keep the players on the pitch at half-time rather than go back to the changing rooms.
 

The Gasworks End

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Believe I saw somewhere that for National League Feeder (step 7) the best case view is a September start and they are working on this basis. Everything above that level will be dependant upon government direction on gatherings, I would have thought it would be a percentage of the grounds capacity but who can tell. Personally the way things are going I'm reasonably positive I will be watching football in September although I'm not positive on the season completing as a likely/possible 2nd wave in the winter will bring it to a stop again. We will see.
 

Ladderman

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From the top secret basketball document I've seen, mini bus travel is unlikely to be allowed before Christmas . And presumably numbers on a full size bus would be limited as wrll
 

prorege

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I don't suppose the same will necessarily apply in England but the biggest issue for part-time clubs in Scotland is the cost of virus testing.

This will be mandatory to clubs in the 4 SPFL divisions. League 1 and 2 clubs are similar size to National League N/S and NPL / SL / Isthmian.

Temperature scanning would be required at every training session and match. Full-scale testing would need to be done at least twice a week. Tests cost £50 per person. So, if a club has 25 players / staff, that comes to £2500 per week.

A generous benefactor has offered to donate £4.75 million to help with this - approximately £100k to each of the 42 clubs. That would allow clubs to play although some would choose not to given that Closed Doors or Hub Venues are proposed.

The idea of a Hub Venue is a ground that would be used by 5 or 6 clubs with cleaning and testing resources concentrated there. Grounds chosen would be all-seated with the facility to manage and steward social distancing. Attendances would be capped at approximately 20% of capacity and ticketed in advance. Fortunately there are so many grounds with artificial pitches that this could be possible.

Some clubs would choose to sit out until their own grounds were available.

Below SPFL level the general view is that there will be no football at all until a vaccine is found or the covid-19 outbreak is fully contained.
 

dtr1989

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There are probably ways to get round the changing room issue (change in their cars?) (change in 2-3 shifts?). I'm more optimistic of at least Step 7 (which doesn't really have to go in sync with higher steps) re-starting in the autumn now. I'm suspecting that theatres and churches may do our work for us - they'er pressing to re-open and once you've let 200 people into a confined indoor space, it'll be difficult to justify not allowing 200 spectators at a Step 5 football ground. Possibly Step 1 & above, and some well-supported clubs below, would have to be ST holders only and no away fans. (I'm assuming 15-20% capacity with 2m distancing, perhaps 25% if it goes to 1.5m.
Or quite simply come to the game already changed.

I think people are over egging the restart. I reckon start of September latest for restart.
 

Lord Lucan

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As frequently happens at Step 7 matches in my area anyway, except when it's raining of course.
Same at real grassroots (i.e. recreational) football level. Some of the players use the break to have a healthy cigarette or two.

At recreational level, once the restriction on group gatherings is lifted/relaxed further, any start date really depends on whether enough players want to play or not. Except in very exceptional cases, there are no enclosed grounds and just a handful of spectators.
 

Lord Lucan

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Below SPFL level the general view is that there will be no football at all until a vaccine is found or the covid-19 outbreak is fully contained.
So, another area where Scotland is much more downbeat than most other countries in Europe.
 

Cherryhopper

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So I guess that will put paid to the next Scottish Hop which had been rescheduled for October after being called off at the start of the lockdown in March:rolleyes:.
 
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Steveb

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Same at real grassroots (i.e. recreational) football level. Some of the players use the break to have a healthy cigarette or two.

At recreational level, once the restriction on group gatherings is lifted/relaxed further, any start date really depends on whether enough players want to play or not. Except in very exceptional cases, there are no enclosed grounds and just a handful of spectators.
I agree with this. From a groundhopping point of view, best to have back up if travelling far though. If track and trace gets going properly then it‘s another potential cause of late call offs.
 

SteveW

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Can you not see the difference between 11-16 men getting changed in close proximity to each other in a small indoor room, and 23/25 men spread out across a football pitch, and only momentarily coming into physical contact? The only time on the pitch you'll get a sustained closeness of players, is at set pieces - for about a minute at a time, maximum. You could enforce players to a mandatory shower at half and full time, with a change of shirt.
No not really. How many times do you have to breathe on someone to pass the virus on? There is much more physical contact and closeness to each other on the pitch than in a changing room. Not just at set pieces or maybe I watch different football to you.

The changing room issue can be addressed, only 4 or 5 of the team getting changed at once perhaps, it's the on field contact that is the real problem.
 

Dave 56

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The things being suggested here are similar to mine way back in post 93 regarding For Step 7 and below, along with lower level Women's leagues and Sunday leagues.

Generally speaking facilities at step 7 are a railed pitch possibly with dugouts. Players could get changed at home, or in their cars and return home to shower afterwards. Assuming the pitch is railed or roped on all sides, have the dugouts on one side, with no spectator access, thus allowing the subs to spread out along that side enabling social distancing.

Many have tea bars, quite often served through a window or hatch, these could still be utilised, giving the club a chance to at least gain some revenue.

Many Sunday league venues don't have changing rooms, so this would be even less of an issue for them, they already change in their cars and shower at home afterwards.

We all agree that we want to minimise the risk of infection and keep everyone safe. Ultimately the players actions will determine how well it works. We have to trust them to play their part. I still feel the beginning of September is not unrealistic for resumption.
 

Onlooker From Afar

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Has anyone considered match officials in all of this?

They will have to go through the same rigorous testing as well and they see different teams every week, in different officiating teams and will be less likely to want to change in cars etc!
 

windydcfc

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No not really. How many times do you have to breathe on someone to pass the virus on? There is much more physical contact and closeness to each other on the pitch than in a changing room. Not just at set pieces or maybe I watch different football to you.

The changing room issue can be addressed, only 4 or 5 of the team getting changed at once perhaps, it's the on field contact that is the real problem.
I heard an expert on TV state that contact outside was 10 times safer than inside an enclosed space. They mentioned that only one person had contacted the virus outside(I believe they weren't on about the UK, it may have been South Korea).
 

Scotty BUFC

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There is much more physical contact and closeness to each other on the pitch than in a changing room. Not just at set pieces or maybe I watch different football to you.
On the pitch OUTSIDE, where it is much safer.

Set pieces are generally the only time when players are stood next to each other, and stationary.
 

SteveW

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I understand what outside means, no need to shout. Set peices are not the only times that players come into contact with each other.
 

Cherryhopper

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Has anyone considered match officials in all of this?

They will have to go through the same rigorous testing as well and they see different teams every week, in different officiating teams and will be less likely to want to change in cars etc!
Shouldn't be too much of a problem lower down as most Step 7 leagues only have the one official, a referee assisted by two club linesmen or substitutes.
 

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