WEBINAR: Canaries fans have their say on the state of football

When will the Carrow Road stands see more than just flags on the seats? Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

When will the Carrow Road stands see more than just flags on the seats? Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

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Fans and experts joined our first online Open House yesterday with the future of football and of Norwich City in the current crisis up for discussion.

A scene we all yearn for 
Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images LtdA scene we all yearn for Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

A return to football in four weeks time looks to be a non-starter for some Norwich City fans.

The Premier League, with government support, are gearing up for Project Restart to begin in earnest on June 12 as the top flight seeks to clear the backlog of 92 matches.

It is a schedule that has met with much cynicism, including with those who took part in our first Open House discussion yesterday.

The subject was, of course, Norwich City, with fans and columnists discussing what the future holds amid football’s suspension due to the coronavirus, which is now into its ninth week.

Norwich City legend Darren Eadie 
Picture: IAN BURTNorwich City legend Darren Eadie Picture: IAN BURT

Canaries legend Darren Eadie joined the webinar and, as always, raised some genuine concerns from a player’s viewpoint.

“From a player’s point of view – I had a conversation about this the other weekend and James Scowcroft from Ipswich Town piped up on social media because I made a point about how the PFA should be making a stance and saying, ‘look, we are not playing this season’. They are holding the cards in terms of people actually taking to the pitch. Scowy piped up and said most of the players want to return and I said, ‘well, most of the players might want to return, but most people aren’t going to die of Covid-19, but people are’. I just thought it was a naive thing to say and I think that is how people on the outside are looking at it. They hear on the news that generally healthy people don’t seem to be too affected by it, younger people don’t, they are going to be tested every day, so they are putting all these reasons why footballers should return without thinking too much about the human beings behind that and that to me is clearly the most important thing.

“Covid-19 is not going to disappear. Players are going to have to make personal choices themselves.”

Long-time support Kathy Blake said: “I’m not sure they have really thought this through – nobody knows what the future holds. We don’t know how long it is going to go on for, we don’t know if there is going to be a vaccine. Will the vaccine work? Will there be a second wave? Will there be a subsequent wave. Nobody really knows and they are taking a huge gamble.”

A poll of those who joined the webinar – hosted by editor David Powles – showed that only seven per cent thought the Premier League should start again on June 12. Eighty per cent believed City had handled the situation well, and to the question when would you feel safe going back to Carrow Road as part of a sell-out crowd, 31pc said August, 34pc January and 34pc only when a vaccine is available.

- You can watch the webinar in full in the video above

- Next Friday we will be debating the future of schools and whether people feel safe sending their children back to them. Timings to be confirmed – check our website and social media for details.

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