I had a conversation yesterday about what the world will be like when lockdown is lifted. We agreed it will not be lifted all at once. Small private gatherings will be permitted first, then restaurants, cinemas and eventually bars. The last thing to be released from lockdown will be football stadiums.
When you consider how football fans shout, sing and embrace, normal attendance at games will not be possible while the virus exists and large parts of the population remain in mortal danger. Thousands of spectators cross-contaminating will not be allowed to happen until the virus is eradicated or a vaccine is distributed. This could take years.
Around 90% of the football industry across Europe may go out of business before selling another match ticket. Scotland would be left with Celtic and the community clubs, who can furlough every member of staff, get a grant for the rates and rent out their pitch to youth teams to pay insurance and utility bills.
This is just one small unthinkable thing in a seemingly imperious industry that is very thinkable in 2020. Similar consequences will be replicated in other industries across the world. If football wants to survive, it has to get innovative very quickly.
Facemasks, visors, gloves, a shedload of new rules on behaviour permitted at a football ground, alcohol gel dispensers everywhere and cashless kiosks are all things clubs should be planning for. It would be a mistake to assume the game we are familiar with will return at any point in the next year. Your football stadium experience will either be very different, or it will not happen for a long time.