Scott Parker must feel some solidarity with Yossarian, the protagonist of Joseph Heller’s Catch 22. You might know the bind of the novel: Any WW2 pilot who wanted to fly a mission must be insane, and was therefore prohibited from flying. Paradoxically, any man who recognised the danger and tried to opt out, must be of sound mind and was required to fly. “That’s some catch, that Catch 22…”
This weekend, whistles will sound in football stadiums for the first time in months. But for the first time in footballing history, they will echo through empty stadiums, punctuated only by the occasional yell from the players, and barked orders from managers who cast a stark figure against a backdrop of plastic chairs.