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VE Day draws parallels to the current problems facing English football

As the 75th anniversary of VE Day passes by, the team at Onside Law have released a newspaper cutting from its inception in 1945.

It comes from the Daily Herald’s sports pages, a publication that ceased in 1964 before later becoming The Sun.

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On the front page, the paper runs the title “EUROPE AT PEACE” as Germany surrendered to end the second world war, and in some ways that is the news we’re all waiting to hear with Europe some of the worst hit by the coronavirus pandemic –  a different battle sweeping the globe.

The football league season had to be suspended in 1939 after just three games, the last coming the day after Germany invaded Poland on the 1st of September 1939.

Under the Emergency Powers (Defence) Act 1939, large gatherings of crowds were banned by the government, which is exactly the same in the country today with coronavirus putting a stop to all English football but rather with less than ten games remaining.

It is thought, via The Athletic, that both League One and League Two will abandon their campaigns just like non-league football has whilst decisions on the Premier League and the Championship await.

Post-war life in the sport looked very different. The article states that their original decision to resume the leagues without promotion or relegation was rescinded and instead, the first and second divisions were regionalised for the 1945-46 season.

Although it only took a year to revert back to the system we see today.

And whilst the sport is awash with a lot more money these days, the idea of regionalising divisions is being talked about as high as the National League with many teams facing monumental financial problems if match action can’t be resumed again this year.

The article also makes reference to the league meeting over player wages, bonuses and benefits, which is something that many Premier League clubs – and even some below- have done in order to survive during the pandemic.

Interestingly, aside from the article on football, they ran a story suggesting that horse racing would be the first sport to resume. The very same is likely to happen again given recent reports and the fact that they were the last sport to shut down all operations in the country.

Whilst WW2 and the coronavirus pandemic are vastly different circumstances, many parallels can be drawn into how the country dealt with the consequences.

All information and images sourced from Onside Law

Article title: VE Day draws parallels to the current problems facing English football

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