Has the Premiership's Opening Day Been Destroyed by the Riots?

Antony HerbertAnalyst IIIAugust 9, 2011

The opening day and weekend of the Premiership season is always a momentous occasion. The shackles are released after the preseason training and, over the course of three days, all twenty teams show their mettle or, for some, their lack of it.

Many have found it difficult to withhold their excitement and expectation as England's highest tier looks likely to bounce back from a below-par campaign with strengthened squads and a vastly more balanced level of competition.  

I myself begin the season watching Jeff Stelling and co. as they begin the weekly ritual of debating the teams' credentials, followed by what can only be described as a combination of screaming and reporting while watching the actions from their seats on Sky Sports Soccer Saturday.

Sadly, however, this season the riots in London look likely to halt the proceedings of opening day and opening weekend. 

What many people have now began to fathom is that, due to the damage caused to the city of London, not only has England's friendly been postponed, but it is likely that various London-based league games will be too.

Opening fixtures at Tottenham, Fulham and QPR will come under scrutiny in the next couple of days amid the same safety concerns that prompted the cancellation of England's duel with the Netherlands. 

The chairman of the FA has already admitted that the cancellation is born out of fears over the safety of the fans and players.

Players such as Rio Ferdinand and Joey Barton have also voiced their opinions over the events. Barton himself has proclaimed that he believes the actions represent a place of 'low to zero self-worth,' comparing his own previous behaviour to such feelings. 

Living in Manchester myself, there is ongoing concern that Monday's fixture at Manchester City could follow suit if reported tensions in various other U.K. cities emerge in the north of England. 

Woefully, it is apparent that many rioters cannot understand the repercussions of their actions. A country is left in panic and despair. Shops are being forced to close early, and many who have built themselves businesses and lives are having their foundations pulled from underneath them.

There are bound to be many rioters who follow the game of football themselves, but have failed to take note of the repercussions their actions have had on the sport.

Parts of London near White Hart Lane have been destroyed, but the stadium has been left without a dent. 

Do the rioters think that by leaving the stadium untouched, the game will still go ahead?

Of course not. They will have destroyed their community, as well as jeopardising the sport they profess to worship. 

Watching the hordes of people following in Mayor Boris Johnson's efforts with a broom in hand is admirable, and hopefully a step in the right direction.

Sadly, the damage may have already been done, and that opening day of the Premiership season is likely to have been tainted before it has begun.