The last few months has been unfamiliar territory for all, in particular, sport and the world of football. Before the return of the German Bundesliga on the 16th of May, we have been without football since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, as football begins to slowly restart league by league clubs and fans are beginning to suggest ways to help the game return to some sort of normality, even in the absence of fans within the eerie stadiums. four out of the five major European leagues will attempt to finish the league cycle, the German Bundesliga already restarted, the Spanish La Liga on the 11th of June, the English Premier League on the 17th of June, the Italian Serie A on the 20th of June and finally the French Ligue 1 has already been confirmed as cancelled, crowning PSG as champions.
In light of the English Premier league being given the green light to go ahead with ‘Project Restart’, fans are suggesting ways to combat the strange emptiness of the stadiums on match days, with stadiums in the league ranging from 11,000 to 74,000 at full capacity. West Ham United have reached out to their fans on their twitter with this statement, “A Claret and Blue Army Crowd Mosaic will take pride of place in the Billy Bonds Stand for our remaining home matches, and we want you to be a part of it!”.
The fans must submit their photo by 10 am this Thursday in order to make the cut for the crowd mosaic. West Ham are planning to use this crowd mosaic on their first match back against Wolves in their 17:30 kick off on Saturday the 20th of June, the 3rd day of 8 days of consecutive Premier League football. Other Premier League clubs are beginning to follow suit such as Wolves and Brighton for their first home game of the restart.
This is not the first time this particular idea has been put into practice, with Borussia Monchengladbach’s ‘Stay at home. Be in the stands.’ campaign, fans we able buy a cut out of themselves which would then be installed within the ground to help the flatness of the atmosphere. The Bundesliga has also been one of the first to implement ‘crowd noise’ to the ground to again aid the eeriness of the stadium. The Spanish La Liga has also followed suit and will implement this upon their restart. It is unknown as to yet if the Premier League will implement this strategy; nonetheless this is a promising first step for the restart of football.
Author: Bradleigh Amis