*Updated July 20, 2021*
The question of how the coronavirus is affecting the English football leagues is obviously on many people’s minds. We have some basic Q&A below, and we’re tracking the latest news.
Is English soccer happening during the pandemic?
It will be. The 21-22 season starts in early August. Here is the full schedule. The 21-22 Champions League (schedule) and Europa League (schedule) group stages will start in September, with fixtures announced in late August.
Can supporters go to soccer games in the UK?
At this point the official position is that when English football resumes in August, stadiums will be without restrictions. How optimistic this is — or how long it will last — remains anyone’s guess.
Can supporters attend soccer games in Europe?
Other European countries have been on a similar path, with the expectation that stadiums will be full starting next season. It does vary a bit by country.
None of this matters much for Americans, though, because…
Can Americans even go to Europe or the UK right now?
The European Union took a big step toward re-opening to Americans on June 17, but it is still up to each individual country to set their own requirements. At this moment, the UK government still requires Americans to quarantine and test upon arrival, and recent reports are that might not change until September.
For many, if not most Americans, that simply means it isn’t worth going.
Here is much more on current travel restrictions from Groundhopper Guides, including links for non-Americans. And here is the US State Department advisory page for the UK.
Are soccer clubs going to fold because of Covid?
Yes, and some already have, since most lower-league clubs depend massively on ticket sales for revenue. Here’s more on that. This is like a tsunami hitting the world of soccer, and some things can’t survive. Many clubs had to lay people off, and some asked players to take a pay cut.
Here is a good video on the economic impact on English clubs, from back in March 2020.