FA Chief Greg Clarke has delivered a stark warning to football supporters claiming “that he can’t see them returning anytime soon” as reported by Luton Today.
There has been recent speculation that the entirety of the 2020/21 football season could be played behind closed doors due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Clarke has revealed in his statement that there will also be budget cuts in the coming seasons due to the financial problems which have hit the footballing world.
Clarke said: “Our executive team has been building out different scenarios that we might potentially face as a result of the pandemic.”
“The reality is that we just don’t know how things are going to pan out, but with social distancing in place for some time to come we do face substantial changes to the whole football ecosystem.”
“For example, it’s hard to foresee crowds of fans – who are the lifeblood of the game – returning to matches any time soon.”
“Whilst we would all like to see football return in the coming weeks, the health of our communities and the protection of the NHS must remain our priority and we will continue to be led by Government advice as we work together with stakeholders from across the game to assess any potential restart,” he continued.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has had a significant financial impact on all sectors of society and sadly football is one of many sports to have been affected as a consequence.”
“The Board has agreed that a sensible cut to the annual budget is £75million. In a worst-case scenario, this would be necessary for the next four years to offset a £300million deficit.”
“Clearly that will impact many of our plans as every area of the game will be touched and projects that we all value will be affected. There is no other way and I ask for all of you to help us to build this revised plan.”
There is no doubt that the Coronavirus has had a significant impact on football and the world in general and it could be a long time before we see any sense of real normality once again.