German football grounds looked and sounded very much different last weekend to what they are usually like. This was Dortmund a year ago.

FOOTBALL: I must admit I didn’t take in any of the TV coverage of the restart of German football at the weekend, writes Mark Hearle.

My viewing was restricted to the glimpses I saw on evening news bulletins. 

However, what struck me was the quietness in the stadiums. Every shout, kick of the ball and even the ball hitting the net could be heard in a clarity that was unthinkable three months ago. 

I have heard a few people saying that the games lacked intensity and had the feeling, in some cases, of a pre-season match. Given all the factors that should be of no surprise to anyone. 

Playing in an empty stadium is a new experience for the majority of players taking part and a strange one to say the least. 

It was interesting to see the measures the German authorities had in place to comply with social distancing needs. These included the widely spaced seating for the benches that ran a fair way along the touchlines. 

It was obvious that a lot of thought had been put into the health and safety aspect.

With news of measures that will need to be in place at Premier League training grounds, it is obvious that a lot of things will have to be implemented throughout football, including ourselves at King’s Lynn, before we can hope to see a return to football.

It will be a very different environment that none of us will have seen before.

We still have lots of things that need sorting which are out of our control but the football department at the club continues to be busy preparing for when football does finally return.

Chris Smith, Sonny Carey and Aaron Jones have all agreed deals to return to The Walks for the 2020/21 season. 

I know a few people were surprised that the club are beginning to build the squad at this time but it is something that has to be done and a few other clubs are doing the same. 

At the same time it is always sad when players are released and both Ryan Fryatt and Nathan Fox will both be playing their football elsewhere next season. 

Ryan has been a tremendous servant to the club for almost 10 seasons and it has been a pleasure to work with him.