The absence of the crowd ... the biggest dilemma for Italy's clubs days before the start of the new season

Italian football clubs, a few days before the start of the new season of the Italian football league, are striving to persuade officials to return the fans to the stadiums, even partially, in a tournament that is already suffering from low attendance in the stands even before the outbreak of the new Corona virus and the consequent stoppage Then the appeal is behind closed doors.

The absence of the audience poses a major financial dilemma for the clubs, and negatively affects their popularity.

The new "Serie A" season is scheduled to start on Saturday and end on May 23, 2021, in order to clear the way for the national team to prepare for the European Cup finals that have been postponed from this summer to 2021 due to "Covid-19".

The initial date for the start of the new season was on the 12th of this month, but it was delayed for a week, provided that this delay would be compensated for by going into the stage next January, that is, by shortening the opportunity for the Christmas and New Year holidays.

The last season of the league, which was crowned Juventus for the ninth time in a row, was concluded on the second of August, nearly a year after its launch on August 28, 2019, as a result of stopping more than three months due to the outbreak of the new Corona virus.

The audience will not be present in the stands when the season opens this weekend, and no date has been set for the possibility of returning, even if it is partial.

In an interview with (Agence France-Presse), sociologist and blogger specializing in soccer Bebo Russo said, "My fear is that, unfortunately, we are already used to playing stadiums without an audience," adding, "This interruption could be the final accelerator towards a tournament without an audience, especially in Italy, where there is already a clear tendency to abandon the stadiums that are usually full for Juventus matches or in San Siro (where Milan plays), but they are almost deserted in other cities. "

According to the "Calcio e Finansa" website, which specializes in the economic aspect of football, the past season witnessed an increase in the Republican presence before the tournament was suspended in March due to the "Covid-19" pandemic.

But the attendance rate in the stands of Italian stadiums in league matches, which amounts to 70 percent of the capacity on average, is still far from the English Premier League and the German League (more than 90 percent), or the Spanish League (76 percent), and at the same level as the French League, according to this site.

It is certain that the absence of the audience from the stands greatly affects the atmosphere of the matches and the enthusiasm of the players in particular, but its impact is greater on the clubs because they are deprived of the financial returns for tickets.

In a statement in late August, Italian coach Roberto Mancini said, "I saw some matches in empty stadiums, but I refrained from that because it was sad."

The feeling of Juventus captain Giorgio Chiellini is no different from Mancini, as he saw that "without the fans, it is as if we are in training matches, even if you are playing for important goals."

In addition to the issue of "when" and "how" the stadiums will be reopened to the fans, there is another question related to the fans' willingness to return to the stands in the country that was initially the most affected by the virus at the European level, as the number of deaths has reached more than 35,500 people so far. .

"We have to see if people will return to the stadium. Because even if partitions are installed, the situation remains dangerous at the entrances with the arrival," Gianfranco Teutino, a journalist for the newspaper "Gazzetta dello Sport" and the "RAI" network, told (AFP) Fans or they leave the same doors in one form or another. "

He said, "In all cases, we will be facing a lower occupancy rate (for stands) than it was before the championship was suspended), and there is concern among some that tickets will be expensive because there will be fewer places available, and health measures will increase the cost for clubs. Who will try to compensate for that from the ticket price.

"If it is prohibitive, will the people return?"

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