It seems like a trick of the mind that just over two months ago, the Premier League ended in a sterile atmosphere of empty stadiums, canned crowd noises for TV viewers, and Liverpool crowned champions after 30 years. On 26 July, the final day of the 2019-20 season, mid-September didn’t seem too far away. And the months in between have been eventful, what with the exciting Champions League finish, Barcelona’s meltdown and the transfer saga of Lionel Messi. It seemed like football had never been away.
The league season starting 12 September will be a strange one because of the pandemic. Fans still won’t be allowed into stadiums, though clubs are trying to figure out ways to have at least some of them back in the stands before long. Normally, the season begins in mid-August, so the season will be highly compressed this time, with every club facing a enervating schedule of league ties and Cup games. The bio-secure bubble when the Premier League resumed in June isn’t so secure any more, with many players testing positive for the novel corona-virus.
But worries aside, football is back.