After a long wait for fans, top tier football is finally set to resume in the UK on June 17th after being suspended due to the coronavirus back in March. Re-starting high-level sporting events has presented officials with a myriad of problems but solutions including regular testing of players and matches taking place behind closed doors have allowed the beautiful game to resume.
However, while around a quarter of British adults (26%) say it is about the right time to resume the Premier League, nearly half (48%) think it’s still too soon, the despite the precautions put in place to protect both players and fans.
Premier League fans are more closely divided over the issue, though. Approaching half (47%) of those who are interested in the league say that it is the right time to resume the competition, while four in ten (39%) are more cautious and believe it is still too soon. Only four percent think the league should have already resumed, following the lead of other competitions, namely the German Bundesliga which resumed play in mid-May.
The research shows many think that resuming professional sports is unlikely to put athletes at greater risk from COVID-19. While two fifths of the general population (43%) say the risk would be same for athletes taking part in competitions, this figure rises to half (50%) among Premier League fans.
A third (33%) of the population as a whole believe that resuming professional sports would place athletes at greater risk of COVID-19, compared to less than a quarter of those interested in the Premier League (23%).
Despite many Brits believing it is too soon for top flight football to return, restarting the competition could benefit the nation. Back in March our research showed that over two-fifths (42%) said that major sporting events are good for the nation’s spirits, with around the same number (39%) acknowledging that sports events are important for the UK’s economy.