John Smith’s Preston North End Fans’ Panel verdict: If football can do without fans, maybe fans can do without football!

After a very unusual pre-season it was time to start the real action with the visit of Swansea to Deepdale on Saturday.
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Or was it ? Having opted not to spend my Saturday afternoon indoors squinting at my phone I found myself in the bizarre situation that despite having forked out for a season ticket I was walking past the stadium heading off to watch a local side in FA Cup action in order to sample some live football, before catching up with events at Deepdale in the evening.

Football has decided to carry on without the fans but to me a live stream is far distanced from the real product, as the matchday experience is about meeting up with your mates to enjoy a pie and a pint and in general feeling part of a community.

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Personally I was slightly disappointed that my club decided to charge the same price as last season’s card knowing already that at least two games were going to be chalked off.

PNE’s Brad Potts with Swansea City’s Marc GuehiPNE’s Brad Potts with Swansea City’s Marc Guehi
PNE’s Brad Potts with Swansea City’s Marc Guehi

I understand that the pockets of our billionaire owner are not bottomless but I feel on this occasion the business-like response from the club to critics of the pricing may end up being somewhat of an own goal, because if football can carry on without the fans then likewise some fans can carry on without the football.

After my afternoon out it was back to phone squinting, watching a different set of Pointless Celebrities to the ones on BBC 1 suffer a disappointing reverse. The game followed the pattern of some of last season’s games in that we conceded a sloppy goal and could not create any clear-cut opportunities to break down the opposition.

With last season’s player of the year looking destined to take the high road to Scotland and with no signs of a new striker appearing on the horizon there appears to be a dark shadow cast over Deepdale even before the gates re open.

However with regards to this one, it appears that we have not missed much through not attending.