Watford boss fears Premier League looking like 'American sitcom'

Nigel Pearson, Manager of Watford and Nathaniel Chalobah of Watford celebrate victory during the Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Watford FC at Vitality Stadium on January 12, 2020 in Bournemouth, United Kingdom.
Nigel Pearson, Manager of Watford and Nathaniel Chalobah of Watford celebrate victory during the Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Watford FC at Vitality Stadium on January 12, 2020 in Bournemouth, United Kingdom.
Image: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Watford coach Nigel Pearson fears gimmicks such as piping in crowd noise to legislate for absent fans at grounds risks turning the Premier League into an "American sitcom".

All games in the Premier League, which resumed on Wednesday after a three-month suspension due to the coronavirus, are being played behind closed doors as part of strict health protocols.

Some TV broadcasters are offering viewers the chance to listen to crowd noise during matches.

Manchester City even had a bank of screens showing live fan reaction to their 3-0 victory over Arsenal on Wednesday.

"What we have got to do is just deal with the situation, our stadium will be the same as every other stadium - no supporters," said Pearson ahead of his team's home game against former club Leicester on Saturday.

"But what we have got to do is try and negotiate this period while it is not possible (to have supporters) to keep our status in the Premier League.

"Hopefully our players will be able to isolate all the emotional side of it and deal with a sterile environment.

"We are not overly keen on it - I don't know if you like American comedy shows, I can't stand them with canned laughter - so we don't intend to create an environment where there is a false atmosphere."

A 1-0 defeat at Crystal Palace in the last game before the postponement of the season left Watford 17th in the table and just outside of the relegation zone on goal difference.

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