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Preston historian explores the importance of football to fans during Covid-19

Posted on - 13th September, 2020 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Preston News, Preston North End, Sport, UCLan
Football stadium. Pic: jarmoluk Pixabay
Football stadium. Pic: jarmoluk Pixabay

A leading academic from the University of Central Lancashire has explored the importance of football during the coronavirus pandemic.

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As fans across the country have been looking forward to the start of the 2020/21 football season, Dr Kevin Moore – a visiting Fellow at the International Football Institute – has called for a renewed perspective.

Dr Kevin Moore said: “The disruption caused by Covid-19 was an opportunity for fans to take a step back from the beautiful game to think about the real importance of life.”

A paper published in Soccer and Society and entitled ‘Football is not a matter of life and death’ discusses the debates surrounding the return of the Premier League, after the Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab suggested its restart would ‘lift the spirits of the nation’.

Kevin said: “To many fans now, there seems to be an obsessional, unhealthy importance about the game and I say this as a football fan myself. 

“The current Covid-19 pandemic is an opportunity for us to gain a renewed perspective on football.

“It is just a game and we can easily live without it – if we have to.”

Read more: Preston joins Orange Button Community Scheme to support suicide prevention

The English football season got underway on Friday 11 September, with Preston North End playing their first game at home to Swansea on Saturday behind closed doors. Fans are expected to be allowed back to Deepdale from the beginning of October.

Deepdale stadium. Pic: Tony Worrall
Deepdale stadium. Pic: Tony Worrall

Kevin said: “Fans will want to go back to see live matches, but only if they feel safe, so many may not return until there is a vaccine.

“In the meantime, it is likely that all professional league games will end up being pay-per-view; vital for the survival of some clubs.

“This factor may change some fans to paying but staying at home, particularly long-distance fans.”

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Would you go and watch a live football match? Tell us in the comments below.

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