Its only been a couple of weeks since football had to be put on hold due to the spread of COVID-19, but it feels an eternity since we left the County Ground after the home defeat to Forest Green Rovers.
Rightly our national game was suspended when a clear picture of how serious the situation had become in the UK, and as our nation pulls together to help those infected and support the brave NHS workers who are on the front line fighting this virus, my mind still goes back to when football will return.
What happens to the 2019/20 season? Should it be scrapped from the record books and all 92 clubs start again this coming August? Should this current campaign recommence with fans attending games when the Government gives the ok for large crowds to meet again? Or should the remaining games be played behind closed doors when some restrictions are lifted allowing a skeleton staff and players to return to work?
Those are just some potential outcomes out of many that have been suggested since coronavirus hit the shores of the UK.
Thankfully the EFL have been clear about their preferred outcome, and that’s to complete this current season when it’s safe to do so.
Which is the right way forward, as long as football fans are welcomed back into stadiums.
Currently, both the Premier League and EFL have said no games will take place at least until 30th April, but with that date agreed on a week ago and the situation moving at a fast pace I don’t see football starting again on that date.
With the situation changing daily and no one knowing how successful this lockdown period will be in slowing down the spread of coronavirus its impossible to guess when any normality will return, but let’s say hypothetically the Government announces life as we used to know it can fully recommence in mid-June after staggered periods of the country coming out of lockdown.
All professional players will need at least 2-3 weeks of a mini pre-season to get back their fitness.
Which would see Swindon’s season kick-off again against Oldham Athletic at Boundary Park in late-June, early July, and if you play two games a week every week that takes us into the second week of August and colliding with the 20/21 season.
The only thing we do know for certain is next season will be something we’ve never seen before in English football.
As I said previously, football has rightly taken a major back seat since this situation began in the UK, but when it does return in some capacity expect stadiums to be completely sold-out and a huge celebration of our national game returning, and I for one can’t wait for the day we hear the referees whistle blow to kick-off the game at Boundary Park and get football back in our lives.
If you require any information on the current lockdown or anything regarding coronavirus please visit www.nhs.uk/coronavirus.