With it being announced that elite football has been suspended until at least April 3 due to concerns over the Coronavirus, former Chelsea player Pat Nevin believes the authorities has done the right thing in suspending football temporarily.
“We’ve gone into completely uncharted waters with coronavirus, and the game is doing the right thing in suspending football and generally taking medical advice from the government,” Nevin said.
“They do not want to find themselves being pointed as as the drivers’ of coronavirus.“
Although the former Scotland International feels bigger clubs will financially be able to cope with implications of the coronavirus, he’s concerned whether smaller clubs will be able to remain financially viable with a lack of revenue coming in.
“Well it really depends who you are and how long it lasts, if you’re a big enough club you can survive the cash flow problems, they may well be able to manage to get through this (coronavirus) and they will devise others ways to increase revenue.
“However, as soon as you get out of the top level you’re in trouble, big, big trouble. First of all for smaller clubs at every level absolutely everywhere, and I’m not just talking England and Scotland, you’re talking Europe .
“I’ve been chief executive of a club before and if someone said to me all your cash flow, all your money and all your projections financially going forward is going to disappear for a quarter of your season, that’s massive debt and this could cause clubs to go out of business.
“It may well be for an extreme situation like this if this goes along for the expected 14 weeks which people are talking about you’ve got to say to the game okay there’s big money at the very top level you’ve got to filter that in a different way for a while.“
Despite the fact football has been suspended till April 3rd, Nevin is almost certain that it will be suspended for a longer period of time,with Covid-19 predicted to hit it’s peak in two to three weeks.
“Yes, It must go on a lot longer than that . My understanding is that, after listening to people and having people in the medical profession in my family, the simple thing is is that we’ve not hit it’s peak yet.
“The peak is almost certain to hit in two to three weeks time which is right in the middle of when the authorities are proposing starting the league again which doesn’t make a huge bunch of sense.”
There are some Liverpool fans worried that they may not be awarded with the Premier League this year, but Nevin feels prioritizing our health should be the upmost priority at the moment.
“It’s a weird situation, but it’s not any more weird then for Leeds fans who are aiming to get promoted to the relegated or for fans of the bottom clubs battling relegation, there’s a million things. Although it feels more important because it (winning their first league title in 30 years) for Liverpool, I’m not sure it’s more important than everybody else in those massive situations.
“It would be a shame because they absolutely deserve to win the Premier League but it’s essential we prioritize our health and take the necessary precautionary measures.”
With their being huge uncertainty when the football season will resume, it has been suggested that UEFA may delay Euro 2020 by a year, with Nevin feeling that this may be the best decision considering the circumstances.
“I think at the moment it’s the best thing I’ve heard. It’s a really decent idea, there will be huge sums of money (UEFA) may loss but tough luck.
There are other sporting organisations that have moved their sporting events so it can be done and the structure has been put in place for it so they can possibly move it. There may be difficulties with it, with women’s football (Euro 2021) but it can be rearranged.”