Summer Football

Rob Halligan 19/06/2020 3comments  |  Jump to last

For many years now, a lot of people have, or were, advocating summer football in this country. The reason being the winters here were cold and miserable, games were being postponed due to snow etc. Pitches sometimes turned into quagmires, especially with torrential downpours, with play almost impossible for any decent football. Well now, we are getting the opportunity to see whether summer football in this country will be good or bad, albeit in rather sad circumstances.

We are four games into the restart of the Premier League, and so far the weather has been pretty miserable. However, according to the long-term weather forecast, we are in for a scorching few weeks from the beginning of July, which should give us a real indication of just how well we can cope with summer football in this country.

At the moment, I am watching a live game from Spain, Seville vs Barcelona, which is due to finish around midnight in Spain. For anyone who went to Villarreal in 2005, the kick-off time was 10pm local time, the same time as this Seville vs Barcelona game. The reason for the late kick-off time is simply due to the heat. Although in England the temperature cannot often match that in Spain, it can sometimes get pretty hot. Last month, for example, temperatures here were higher than in parts of Spain.

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We have seen in three of the four games played so far back in the Premier league drinks breaks halfway through each half which, with all honesty, weren't needed. The rain in the man city v Arsenal game could easily have been replicated in the middle of winter here.

So how would we cope with summer football? Many years ago, our league was mainly made up of British and Irish players, who may have found it difficult playing in extreme warm weather. Now though, with so many foreign players from Spain, Italy, Brazil, and other countries with warmer climates, we could probably cope with summer football.

The biggest objectors to this though, would undoubtedly be the police force. Could you imagine, for argument's sake, this weekend's derby match kicking off on a Saturday or Sunday evening on a scorching hot summer's day, after everyone has spent all day in the pub? This would be replicated up and down the country every weekend.

So, could we cope with summer football? I know it will never happen, but the next few weeks will tell us if we could. There are some countries, notably in Scandinavia, who have no choice but to play in their summer, but let's be honest, sometimes our summer can be just as bad as our winter, only a bit warmer.

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Reader Comments (3)

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Derek Thomas
1 Posted 21/06/2020 at 02:13:32
The cry for summer football goes back to when pitches were a bit more, shall we say, 'variable'. On today's bowling greens, the time of the year matters not at all and given the vagaries of the English weather. It might be sunny and 26 C in London, but it could, at the same time, be a drizzly 16 C over Goodison Park.

Let's face it, if somebody told you the temperature and weather, be it 26 C or 16 C, sunny or raining, it could be any month between March through to October.

Only one thing will make them change – Money.

The Australian A League have just decided to switch from summer (and the have proper summers there) back to Winter. It was Covid-19 and Money induced... and at a reduced TV Money rate, down from A$60M to A$32M. He who pays the piper, calls the tune... and, so it seems, when they play it.

AFL & Rugby League: March to September.
Football: August to December – in line with the real world, for now at least.
Cricket: late November to April.
Sport to show 12 months of the year = sorted for TV.

John Raftery
2 Posted 23/06/2020 at 11:20:21
Rob, football is one of the things which helps us stay sane in the long British winter. For that reason alone, I would be against a switch.

I see the forecast for Carrow Road at kick-off time tomorrow evening is 24 C which will be warmer than players have been accustomed to recently but not excessively so. When we played Chelsea in the 2009 FA Cup Final, the temperature reached 30 C which was too hot for many fans sitting in the stands – never mind the players on the pitch.

Rob Halligan
3 Posted 24/06/2020 at 12:10:14
The first real hot day since the return of the Premier League, and the temperature for Norwich in the late afternoon looks to be something around 24°C - 26°C. Just back from walking the dog and it's really hot already.

I can see all the 6pm kick-off's later being played at a slow pace. Of course, the only game kicking off at 8:15pm is the RS, when the temperature will be a bit cooler!

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