Fans are an integral part of any game. The excitement they bring in a game is unmatched. Thus, the pandemic was an unfortunate occurrence as its restricted participation from fans. When the football federations started their games after a big break, it was behind closed doors. Gradually, they began allowing fans in limited numbers. Different countries have varying restrictions. For example, in Paraguay, they allow only 10% of the maximum number, whereas Poland accepts up to 50%. Sporting events where fans are in attendance follow strict safety protocols.
They wear masks at all times and observe social distancing. To enforce distance, seats have markings on where to sit. Floors also have markings that implement physical space. Clubs discourage attendees from shouting, chanting, or yelling. Sharing of foods, drinks, and personal items is unacceptable. It helps when sports events are outdoors, as the airflow is less restrictive. Cashless payment systems through providers like Chris Norminton are a massive plus in Covid-19 safety protocols.
The Fan Psychology
A report by the thinking public showed that 28.5% of football fans acknowledged that lack of football affected their lives. 59% of fans wanted football clubs o do more to support mental health services. While many fans rely on football to ease their mental issues, players rely on fans as well. One significant benefit of having fans at a football game is the psychological effect they have on players. According to Alvin Martin, former West Ham captain, players play because of the fans. They set up the right playing atmosphere and set the stage for players to perform. Martin also explains that fans enable players to play through difficult times, such as injuries. Football involves a lot of physical exertions, which may be challenging at times. Thus, it helps when the fans cheer players on and give them that extra rush of adrenaline.
The 380 Premier League games’ attendance was about 14.5 million, which totals to about 677 million Euros. This figure is not inclusive of the amount fans spend on merchandise and betting applications. The income fans bring in is essential in running the club and providing pay for the players. They are an integral part of the economic sector in football matters. With the limit on numbers of fans who can attend the games, numerous football clubs felt the impact on their economic basket. According to an estimate, English football loses about 100 million Euros each month due to the reduced matchday attendance. Most clubs resorted to paying caps on their players to stay afloat. They are also working on ways to engage with fans and give them some form of live-action. Football clubs need to rethink how they engage with their fans to fill up the economic shortfall or develop alternative means of generating income.
Football clubs are hopeful that the number of football attendees will increase soon to more substantial levels. More football leaders are engaging in discussions on how to improve attendees. Governments are also more open on ways to return to normalcy safely. Soon, the full real football atmosphere may be back.