Playing Barclays FA Women’s Super League fixtures behind-closed-doors in empty stadiums could be the likely scenario should the competition be able to resume this summer.
The Football Association released their latest update on Thursday which confirmed that the Barclays FA Women’s Super League continues to work alongside the English Premier League and the English Football League to consider ways in which the season can be brought to a successful conclusion should the Coronavirus crisis recede. Europe’s footballing governing body UEFA, are also working with their 55 member nations and it is their preference that all seasons are completed.
The current hope for the Barclays FA Women’s Super League is that the season is finished in a way that is safe for both clubs and players but completing the campaign could possibly mean games being played behind-closed-doors.
The UK Government are set to extend the current three-week lockdown until May. Should the Coronavirus situation improve, they could consider relaxing some of the strict restrictions currently placed upon UK residents as early as next month. Whilst no lockdown exit strategy has been announced, or possibly even discussed in great detail, it is likely that restrictions will be lifted in stages. We may get to a point where sport can resume in the summer but it is more than likely that the Government will open the sports and leisure industry in full last of all with restrictions possibly being left in place on large gatherings.
While competitive sport may be able to resume, there are question marks over whether the kind of crowds attracted to the Barclays FA Women’s Super League will be permitted during a potential staggered exit from lockdown. The prospect of a period of playing games in empty stadiums seems like a possibility in order to get the season completed.
The fans don’t want behind-closed-doors, football without fans is nothing, but it is difficult to see four-figure crowds being able to attend Barclays FA Women’s Super League matches until at least autumn.