Robin Sainty

The only positive of Project Restart from the perspective of Norwich City fans is the fact that the relentless schedule of games means that our suffering will be over relatively quickly.

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Regular readers of this column will know that I was considerably less than enthusiastic about the return of the ersatz version of football produced to keep the broadcasting wolves from the door of the Premier League, and Project Restart has so far done nothing to convince me that I was wrong.

Well, we’re going to be getting some “entertainment” in the coming weeks, but to paraphrase Mr Spock: “It’s football, Jim, but not as we know it.”

It seems strange after all this time to be talking about live football again. Since the Premier League ground to a halt just before the weekend of March 14, we have seen a break of eight weeks, which will have extended to 11 by the time that the action restarts, assuming all goes to schedule.

This week’s stark warning from Huddersfield Town owner Phil Hodgkinson that up to 60 lower league clubs could go out of business unless the football establishment starts to look beyond the current obsession with finishing the current season and plans effectively for change in the longer term is worrying.

After a period of fence sitting, the Premier League clubs have voted for players to return to training, albeit non-contact, and the Bundesliga has returned to action in Germany. Whether these are sensible moves will be something that only time will tell.

So another week has gone by and we’re still no clearer about the fate of Project Restart, not least because it’s so hard for the average fan to get a handle on what’s really going on.

If there is one phrase that is guaranteed to grind my gears it’s “the integrity of the league” used as a justification by those intent on finishing the football season at all costs.

About the only positive aspect of the absence of football has been the fact that my blood pressure hasn’t been raised by VAR for a few weeks now.

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