Football authorities across Europe are reportedly bracing themselves for a complete shutdown of the game until September following the outbreak and effects of the coronavirus.
All of Europe’s football’s major leagues, as well as the Champions League and the Europa League, have been suspended with the English leagues postponed until April 3rd at the earliest.
According to Miguel Delaney and Tony Evans of the Indepedent, scores of clubs could go out of business and the sport could be sent into meltdown following the outbreak with authorities preparing for a shutdown until September.
UEFA are set for a videoconference on Tuesday to discuss the future of this season’s European competitions and Euro 2020.
The Champions League and Europa League could also be potentially cancelled this year and the European Championships expected to be pushed back until 2021.
The decision to suspend the Premier League and the EFL was taken on Friday, while the FAI suspended football under their jurisdiction on Thursday, with the outcome of all leagues currently up in the air given the unprecedented nature of the global pandemic.
Clubs both in England and domestically will likely face difficulties over the next few weeks as they look to supplement revenue from lost ticket sales and all that comes with the postponement of fixtures.
Speaking to Pundit Arena, former Cork City manager John Caulfield outlined that the cancellation of fixtures could have a disastrous effect on League of Ireland clubs.
“The majority of clubs rely so much on the gates,” said Caulfield.
“The league will be suspended for two weeks and rightly so. It’s really a scenario of how long this will go on for. If everything was back to normal in two weeks, clubs could handle that. The problem will be the knock-on effect, if it goes longer, which obviously it could.
“Would clubs survive for a couple of weeks? Certainly, but I think after it would become a major issue. Clubs have matured, they’d have more of a long-term plan now. But, ultimately, there’s no TV money for League of Ireland clubs. Ideally, you’d hope that clubs would be fine in such a way that they could survive for over a year, but that wouldn’t be the case here.”