There is no doubt that football is going to be very different for a little while and is perhaps going to take some time getting used to.
The actual play may not be that different, although games will have the tendency to feel as though they are pre-season exhibitions before match fitness is gained by the players after the long hiatus.
Even the betting and gambling aspects of the game will still remain the same and bettingmetrics can help users make the most out of the bets they place.
The atmosphere around grounds, or lack of, is what will likely be something that will take every fan some getting used to, although clubs have started to come up with unique ways as to help their side feel as though they are not alone.
1/ Fans via Zoom call in the stands
Arguably, if there was one business to have made the most out of the Coronavirus pandemic and capitalised on what has happened over the last few months, it is Zoom – the video conferencing organisation; Skype really blew an opportunity here, even after 17 years of being in existence…
Danish side AGF Aarhus hosted their Danish Superliga match with Randers in front of a digital audience in partnership with Zoom and allowed fans to join conference calls with other supporters (home, away and neutral) who had tickets in certain sections of the stands – as you would normally in person. They also streamed it live in the stadium car park with fans being allowed to watch the action from the comfort of their cars. Perhaps, this is the future?
2/ Cardboard fans
We have all heard about “plastic” fans – those that follow a side but know nothing about them without having to conduct Google searches – but “cardboard” fans is a new phenomenon to have graced the football world.
Borussia Monchengladbach were the brainchild of this genius idea to try and make their stadium full of spectators and supporters fully got behind the idea. Having been charged £17 per head, each fan was able to have a life-sized photo of them printed out on to the piece of cardboard and put in the stands.
It appeared to be a popular idea with fans of the club, as well, with more than 12,000 having been ordered for their home clash with Bayer Leverkusen following the restart of the Bundesliga. One team in South Korea’s K-League might have been able to take a lesson from the Germans on this one…
3/ Fan chants
Speaking of the K-League, they arguably did get something right when trying to fill an empty stadium with some form of atmosphere to rally the troops and get their side playing with as much normality as possible.
The league was the very first to restart following the COVID-19 outbreak and attracted plenty of interest from onlookers just desperate to get their football fix after around a two-month hiatus.
The opening game between Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors and Suwon Samsung Bluewings featured recorded crowd noise and chants over a tannoy system as they looked to get their team playing with as much freedom as possible and it appeared to work as the hosts ran out winners.