Arsenal’s game versus Manchester City was postponed with less than 24hrs before kickoff, as the Coronavirus pandemic took hold of the Premier League fixture schedule.
This game in hand is now indefinitely delayed, with no indication for when this will be rescheduled. This could just be the beginning too, as games look set to be at risk, putting not just the season, but Euro 2020 under the microscope – and beyond.
It was declared earlier on the day the game was postponed that Nottingham Forest and Olympiacos owner, Evangelos Marinakis, was diagnosed with the virus.
The ripple of effect soon carried through to Arsenal, as less than two weeks before the diagnosis, we had played Olympiacos at the Emirates. It happened to be that several members of staff had sat with Marinakis during the game and some of our first team had met the owner.
Government procedures dictate that best practice would be to self-isolate for 14 days, and thus it meant Arsenal versus Man City could not take place. But if our staff and players must take this precautionary measure for two weeks, then surely our game against Brighton must also be postponed?
All around Europe and beyond, sporting events are being cancelled, cutting out the risks associated with mass meetings. From Serie A to Europa League, football is feeling the bite. As the rate of contraction and numbers rise, it will only get worse, and seasons will go on into June and July at least in order to reach a culmination.
That will in turn, impact the current scheduling of Euro 2020. If that is delayed, which is quite likely, then that will also mean that the start of next season’s Premier League too, will also feel the pinch.
And the ripples will cast outward, with this match against Man City just the first small circle.
Watch this space, we’ll keep you posted on all developments in regards to our fixture schedule.