Football without fans is bad enough to stomach. But football without big-money signings to get all excited about before they invariably let you down? That, The Warm-Up simply cannot take.
We all know that football has been utterly transformed by the pandemic - as indeed has almost every other sector of life. Games aren't the same, leagues have been cancelled, some clubs may not survive.
And yet, the transfer industry continues to be carrying on like nothing has happened. Or, at least, the transfer rumour industry. Massive fees are still being touted for some of the hottest properties in European football on a daily basis.
But a dose of reality hit yesterday when, in light of Manchester United's financial results (more on which below) Jamie Carragher expressed his belief that Liverpool simply might not have the money to sign Timo Werner this summer.
"I think there was a good chance of it happening before the pandemic happened," Carragher said in the Liverpool Echo. "But financially now you don't know what state clubs are in. I actually saw something on Twitter before about Man United's financial results so, you would expect Liverpool to be pretty similar [as to] how they've been affected. I am sure that will affect the transfer market.
"I don't think Liverpool can complain too much with the squad they've got at the moment. They've lost one league game all season and one last season. There's certainly not too much that needs to change but I do feel a top attacking player is needed but if the finances aren't there, they aren't there."
Transfer deadline day - if and when it ever happens - is going to be bleak, isn't it?
Yesterday was a huge day for FC Cincinnati, as the MLS club briefly became a talking point in wider football circles when they announced the appointment of Jaap Stam as their new manager.
It was a big coup, an appointment to get people talking. And talk they did, when it became apparent that FC Cincinnati had gleefully announced their new boss while using a photo of someone else.
The man pictured was in fact Tinus van Teunenbroek, of Ajax. Close, to be fair, but not quite close enough.
The error was fairly swiftly corrected, in brilliant fashion…
United counting cost of coronavirus
It was time for Manchester United to announce their third-quarter earnings yesterday and, surprise surprise, it wasn’t a particularly pretty picture with the pandemic already costing the club around £28m and that figure will be sure to rise considerably.
Also included within the numbers was the fact that £20m has already had to be handed back to broadcasters as a result of games being postponed. A situation that will only worsen until Project Restart finally comes to fruition. If indeed it does.
"Our third-quarter results reflect a partial impact that the pandemic has had on the club but the greater impact will be in the current quarter and likely beyond," said Woodward.
"These are unprecedented times and we must recognise that this crisis will not disappear overnight.
"However, our club is built on a solid foundation. We remain firmly optimistic about the long-term prospects for the club once we have worked our way through what is undoubtedly one of the most extraordinary and testing periods in the 142-year history of Manchester United."
IN OTHER NEWS
Luis Enrique sums things up very neatly and adeptly.
IN THE CHANNELS
Avid watchers of the daily No. 10 press briefings will know that occasionally you get a special guest or two to ask questions of whatever government cipher has been put up to speak to the nation.
And yesterday... well yesterday was the turn of Robbie Savage. And it was quite a reasonable line of questioning.
Not quite sure you can leap from that to “Sav for PM!” though…
Sixteen years ago today, Manchester United faced Millwall in the 2004 FA Cup final. Ruud van Nistelrooy scored twice and a fresh-faced Cristiano Ronaldo go in on the act too as he put on a dazzling show.
Rabona crosses, Zidane turns, more stepovers than you could count… it’s all there.
The Sort-of Bundesliga is back for another weekend of echoey fun and tonight’s offering is a derby between Hertha Berlin and Union Berlin – starting at 7:30pm.
This weekend also sees the start of Eurosport UK’s #Returnto2012 – join us as we relive the London 2012 Olympics with some of the big names who made it so special. We kick off with a replay of that iconic opening ceremony, on Eurosport 2 on Sunday at 4pm.