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Men’s football Football without fans is soulless, says Huddersfield boss Danny Cowley

HUDDERSFIELD manager Danny Cowley has his reservations about playing behind closed doors as it will “take the soul away from football.”

Cowley — whose team sit 18th in the Championship — is adamant that it must be safe in stadiums before supporters return to the stands.

But he is convinced that home fans can “influence the outcome” — and the recent Bundesliga games played behind closed doors appear to back up his view.

Since the resumption of the German top flight earlier this month, there have been 27 games up to Wednesday night’s fixtures. Of those games, five have been home victories, with10 draws and 12 away wins.

That is a home-win percentage of 18.5 per cent — compared to 43.3 per cent of home wins in the season prior to the delay.

Cowley said: “It’s the people’s game and I think it [playing behind closed doors] will take the soul away from football.

“But it is going to be a necessity. I think [having fans back] can be achieved but it is further down the line and it has to be done safely.

“The quicker we can get supporters back into the stadiums the better.”

Cowley is keen on fans being able to watch the games on television in the meantime.

He added: “In the short term they must be able to get exposure to the game, we have to find a way of getting supporters affordable exposure to the game. Otherwise why are we doing it?”

Championship clubs returned to training on Monday, with a testing programme under way. Of more than 1,000 players and staff initially tested at the 24 clubs, two people at Hull tested positive for Covid-19.

The results of a second round of 1,030 tests were announced yesterday, with three positives from two clubs. Fulham said two of those three were from their staff.

It is still unclear when the season will resume for the second-tier competition, but it is looking increasingly likely it will be some time later in June.

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