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If football reflects the wider national culture, comparisons with Germany do not flatter England

Tommy Conlon


Project Restart is as mired as ever ahead of another conference call

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Troy Deeney: ‘What are they going to do, take money off me? I’ve been broke before so it doesn’t bother me’

Troy Deeney: ‘What are they going to do, take money off me? I’ve been broke before so it doesn’t bother me’

NurPhoto via Getty Images

Troy Deeney: ‘What are they going to do, take money off me? I’ve been broke before so it doesn’t bother me’

In Germany yesterday they played, in England tomorrow they will talk about playing - again. If it is debatable that the football culture of a country reflects the wider national culture, it is clearly in this case reflecting a difference between how they are dealing with Covid-19 in both nations. The comparison does not flatter England, either in government or the game.

The Bundesliga was re-opened yesterday after a herculean campaign by Germany's medical and political systems to comprehensively smother the pandemic. Having largely succeeded in so doing, it stabilised the ground under civic society in general. It was from this solid foundation that top-flight professional soccer prepared itself in recent weeks for re-launch.

There is still no such terra firma for the Premier League, nor it would appear for British society. In this crisis, a floundering Government has made for a frightened populace. The dramatically escalating toll of sickness and death in Britain seems to have destabilised confidence and trust nationwide. This has percolated down to a football industry that seems similarly disoriented. As with the Government, it appears to be chopping and changing from week to week, giving the unavoidable impression that it is making it up as it goes along.