Football's social conscience
The Premier League is increasingly confident Tottenham's game against Everton will be the only casualty of the competition's first weekend of the new season.
With Tottenham High Road still a crime scene and the club so close to the rioting and trouble which sparked the wave of copycat attacks across London and the rest of the country, that fixture was always vulnerable.
But barring any further trouble the nine remaining fixtures should go ahead. The League's chief executive Richard Scudamore told me today that it was important that national life got back to normal as soon as possible, not because of the need for the football juggernaut to get back into top gear, but because it would send a message to those bent on causing mayhem.
At the Premier League's new season launch at the luxury Landmark Hotel today there was much discussion about what role football and footballers can and should play in the sorts of communities fractured by this week's events.
Shortly before England's friendly international against the Netherlands was cancelled on Tuesday, Wayne Rooney and Rio Ferdinand tweeted appeals for calm. Ferdinand tried to identify with the yobs by making the point that he grew up on a council estate but had worked hard to become "rich and famous".
While I winced at the measure of the England defender's aspiration, the sentiment was a laudable one and there is no doubt, talking to representatives from the players' union the PFA today, that if anyone can connect with disaffected youngsters then it is the country's leading footballers.
Many of them get a rough ride from the media. Often they don't help themselves.
And wherever they might have come from (Rooney grew up in Croxteth, Ferdinand in Peckham) can they really identify with kids from deprived areas now that they live in gated mansions in posh suburbs?
But the players of the 20 Premier League clubs are at least trying to do their bit, having a whip round to pay for free kits for grass roots clubs, schools and youth schemes worth £500,000.
Detractors will point out that £25,000 per club squad is not even a round of drinks for some players but in many ways the game's stars are damned if they do and damned if they don't.
The bigger point for me is not whether clubs donate enough money to local community projects but whether poorer fans and families have been priced out as top football has become more gentrified and expensive over the last 20 years.
Has the game become too remote and should clubs be doing more to try and make their grounds more accessible? It would certainly have felt strange for Spurs' millionaire players to have driven their super cars past the police tape and burned out buildings as they turned up for the game on Saturday.
Having said all that, is it really right to expect football and the games leading players to be doing the job of politicians and social workers? Sure, the game has a responsibility to its communities and has a reach and influence beyond political leaders, but is it fair to expect a group of young men to do what many of our institutions have failed to do?