Premier League clubs will play the national anthem and hold a minute’s silence before all matches this weekend to pay tribute to Queen Elizabeth II. Managers have also been told to consider wearing suits and leading their teams out, and there will also be a minute’s applause on 70 minutes to mark the length in years of the Queen’s reign. Big screens and advertising boards around pitches will display tribute images rather than familiar messages.
Seven Premier League matches will be played on Friday, Saturday and Sunday after last weekend’s programme was controversially cancelled in the wake of the Queen’s death.
Insiders claimed that football felt it was appropriate to have a weekend of mourning for the monarch, which included stopping all grassroots football, given the Queen was the patron of the Football Association and Prince William is its president. However the decision was widely criticised, especially given most other sports, including cricket and golf, went ahead last weekend.
The news was confirmed by the Premier League, which said: “All Premier League matches between Friday 16 and Sunday 18 September will provide an opportunity for the League, clubs and fans to come together to pay tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, honouring her extraordinary life and contribution to the nation and world.
“Fans will be asked to join a minute’s silence, which will be followed by the national anthem, God Save The King. Big screens and LED perimeter boards will display tribute images to Her Majesty and flags at the grounds will be flying at half-mast. When the clock turns to 70 minutes, fans will be invited to applaud the Queen’s 70-year reign.”
A Premier League spokesman confirmed managers wearing suits “was a suggestion not a directive”.
Liverpool’s trip to Chelsea and Leeds’ visit to Manchester United on Sunday have been postponed due to police shortages in the buildup to the Queen’s funeral on Monday. Brighton’s home match with Crystal Palace had already been postponed because of rail strikes, which have subsequently been cancelled.
Arsenal’s Europa League tie at home to PSV Eindhoven tonight has been rescheduled for 20 October, prompting the postponement of their Premier League game the previous night at home to Manchester City.