Arsene Wenger does not envision a whole football season behind closed doors, due to the COVID-19 outbreak across Europe insisting that it would not be good for the long-term benefits of the beautiful game.
Commenting on the return of the Bundesliga in an exclusive interview with beIN SPORT, the former Arsenal boss stated that games without fans will damage the “show” of football.
“Does it on the longer-term survive? Will it damage the show on the longer-term without supporters? I am convinced of that.”
“It can be a short term solution, you cannot imagine a whole season played without any spectators. I believe it can be a short term solution, not a long term one. It’s still the best possible way to have a verdict at the end of the season, it’s better than any other season.” Explained Wenger when asked about the best way of ending the season.
It’s been a strange experience for fans across the world, who have tuned in to watch the Bundesliga behind closed doors. For Wenger, who currently works at FIFA as head of global football development, fans are essential for the game. However as the game adapts in the face of the COVID-19 outbreak, the ex arsenal boss admitted he did enjoy watching the return of the Bundesliga.
“The football shown is made by two departments, the players and the spectators. Then you have the other side of the game is the people who watch the show.”
“We have suppressed the spectators and only the players are there, so it looks a bit empty but I must say the commitment of the players I great. I am a football person, so I enjoy watching the game technically.”
With the return of football, there has been one significant rule change, with the introduction of five substitutes for each side. A move which for Wenger should lead to a more competitive end of season.
“At FIFA we proposed five substitutions for one single reason as the schedule is congested. It’s difficult to repeat the games, without more changes. I believe on the first game it’s difficult to judge. Overall, I think it is interesting to watch over one month how it will be used.”
The decision, which has been welcomed with widespread praise from the world of football, will mean that players are rested as they look to play out the remainder of their respective seasons.
“I think it’s a good idea because some smaller teams would drop some games and would not play with their full side if they played every three days. So this encourages them to play with the best possible team in every single game. I think it is a good decision.”
You can hear more from Wenger in the video above.