Unless you’ve been living under a rock recently, you are probably aware that new government restrictions have enabled teams in the top 4 tiers of English football to welcome back fans in a limited capacity. Anywhere between 2,000 and 4,000 fans have finally been able to go back and watch games- with most, if not all of these, being existing season ticket holders.
The eased restrictions on fans returning to watch English football do not come without issues though. Naturally, given that tickets are being allocated almost exclusively to existing season ticket holders rather than any other fans, financially this actually leaves football clubs in a quandary – such limited numbers will in fact cause greater financial hardship on clubs and many boards will be hoping these limited trials will result in a significantly higher number of fan admissions as we enter 2021 which will enable football clubs to once again profit from match day which is absolutely essential.
The remainder of loyal fans at present are still left with two options of following their clubs matches via local radio or investing in the Ifollow service to watch their clubs league games- a service which has been made freely available to season ticket holders by the majority of clubs. Again, as with limited admission numbers in person to matches, Ifollow sales are unlikely to offer clubs much financial relief and many supporters have been left disillusioned with the supposedly poor level of user experience & reliability of the service.
All this said, one component of English football which has remained buoyant and seemingly unaffected by the pandemic would have to be football betting. Whether it’s a cheeky ACCA on Saturday afternoon fixtures or punters making use of such comparison sites as https://freebets.org/ – punters and bookmakers alike have continued to add a little sense of involvement to loyal fans up and down the country.
With government keeping a close eye on restricted admission games across the Premier League down to League Two, it will be interesting to see whether come January stadium numbers may approach something closer to normal levels across the board.