Opinion - It was right for the EFL and Premier League to postpone games for this weekend

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Late on Friday morning, the EFL and Premier League decided to postpone the upcoming round of fixtures, due to be played on September 9, 10 and 11.

It was, I’m sure, a difficult decision for the governing bodies of English football to decide that no games should take place out of respect for Queen Elizabeth II, who died on Thursday.

I don’t think the importance of sport and football is lost on those in power, particularly after the Covid-19 pandemic and the many lockdowns people of this country had to endure.

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As the most popular sport in the country – and indeed the world – football was a beacon of hope and enjoyment for many people through some of the darkest times in our recent history.

Queen Elizabeth II with her husband Prince PhillipQueen Elizabeth II with her husband Prince Phillip
Queen Elizabeth II with her husband Prince Phillip

However, there are always more important things in life than football.

It is only right that the games are postponed – I know there are many who disagree.

There are many people who suggest that the Queen would have wanted life to go on as normal.

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And football is always a great vehicle for paying respects to somebody who made a significant contribution to life.

We have seen at North End in the recent past when the club and its supporters have celebrated the lives of its former owner Trevor Hemmings and its greatest ever player, Sir Tom Finney.

There is the issue of logistics and the added stress on the fixture list the cancellation of this weekend’s round of fixtures especially during World Cup year.

There will also be financial considerations to take into consideration in terms of a loss of revenue this weekend for clubs – and supporters, who may have already made travel arrangements to follow their team away from home.

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I think the football authorities have acted fast to cause the least upheaval for everyone.

The death of the Queen is a moment of huge magnitude in this country, especially considering the length of her reign and I believe it was the right decision.

Tuesday’s game against Burnley – two founding members of the football league and local rivals – will provide a perfect setting to pay our respects to the Queen and is something we can all look forward to.

There is speculation that next week’s matches will also be called off as the Queen’s funeral is due to take place.

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Swift and clear communication will be best when the EFL and Premier League decided whether the games will go ahead or not.

It could well that there will be four weeks between PNE’s last game, at home to Birmingham City, and their next game – due to an international break which has also been scheduled in the calendar this month.

Hopefully the Burnley game at Deepdale goes ahead, as it promises to be a cracker.