The global COVID-19 pandemic has thrown a wrench into many things that used to be routine. Sports have been especially affected by this crisis. Sporting events, even whole seasons, have had to be rescheduled, postponed, played behind closed doors, or cancelled altogether.
In light of this, it’s a bit mad that I’m even writing this post about the English FA and their plans for the Community Shield. As with the rest of the football calendar, it will have to be pushed back because of the lockdown; and that in turn will potentially cause fixture congestion.
Even in normal times—should they ever return—the Community Shield is barely a step above a preseason friendly. The competition, and I use that term loosely, is traditionally played between the winner of the Premier League and the winner of the FA Cup. This year Liverpool got an invite as the league runner-up because City won both competitions.
After months of sensible decisions and restraint, the FA is back doing what football governing bodies do best: figuring out ways to prioritize their competitions. Even wholly unnecessary ones like the Community Shield.
The problem is that three of the four potential Community Shield participants: Chelsea, Manchesters City and United, might be in the latter stages of either the Champions League or the Europa League.
If that is the case, the FA is reportedly considering extending an invitation for an opponent to be named later.
OK. Sure. In the words of Thor, just point us in the direction of whoever’s ass we have to kick.
Or alternatively, and hear me out here, you just forget the whole thing because seriously who’s arsed?