It has been nearly 2 months since we last saw Walsall play, and it is looking likely that we won’t be returning to see them anytime soon, especially if the news coming out of the F.A is anything to go by.
Rewind a couple of months. Walsall have just dispatched high-flying Exeter after goals from Holden, and an Adebayo brace make it 11 points from a possible 15. All is good in the world. However this seems like a distant memory, and those moments we cherish in football, like Holden’s last minute winner against Northampton, McDonald’s late wonder goal against Crawley, and the occasional James Clarke worldie, are things we may only be seeing from home for a while.
Today, Greg Clarke, chairman of the F.A has said that he thinks that seeing fans back at football matches won’t be ‘any time soon‘. He also has said that the Premier League are planning for the scenario of the entire of the 2020/2021 season being played behind closed doors. This is just a plan, but it shows that people high up are thinking that fans at matches is more likely to be later, rather than sooner.
So where does that leave the EFL. Obviously the biggest different is the size of the crowds at the stadiums we play in. With the average attendance in League 2 around the 4,500 mark (vastly helped but Plymouth and Bradford with their 10,000+ each match) it is a huge difference to those figures for League 1 (around 8750) let alone the Championship and Premier League. But this is the EFL we are talking about. We would assume that anything that is decided for the Premier League, would be copied into the EFL too.
The aim for project restart is to get matches back on in June, for the Premier League. So if we take that as a marker for the rest of English Football, then it could be just over a month until we see some form of football back. But expect to see it via your sofa, because it may be 2021 before we manage to return to the Bescot to see those beautiful Saddlers.
All the Greg Clarke information can be found here – https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/52528124