Ex-Director and Chairman of Millwall football club, Jeff Burnige, has expressed his concern over the financial implications COIVD-19 could have on the club as games all over Europe continue to be postponed.
Coronavirus has had an unprecedented impact on the sporting calendar as everything from the NBA, cricket tests and all four tiers of British professional football suffer cancellations and postponed fixtures.
Arsenal Head-Coach Mikel Arteta and Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi have both been found to have tested positive for COVID-19 and as a result, both club's entire playing staff have been placed in self-isolation with Arsenal not set to return to their London Colney training ground until the 24th of March.
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But whilst the Premier League's big-boys have a level of resources and financial power to deal with the fact football has been placed on a shock hiatus, the same can not be said the further you look down the divisions.
Millwall are a club that do not boast the kind of financial power that those above them in the Premier League do. The idea of playing games behind closed doors whilst fans are told to steer clear of attending games as a precaution could spell serious trouble for clubs who rely on gate revenue.
Former Millwall chairman Jeff Burnige spoke to the Millwall fans show on Love Sport Radio about the kind of implications playing games in empty stadiums can have on a club's budget.
"In all my years, I never faced anything like this. But I have faced the prospect of games being played other than at our home ground. I have faced the possibility of playing behind closed doors.
"The loss to your revenue is, you know, and your cash flow in particular, it's very serious.
"I'm just glad that we have a stable ownership at Millwall because I think there's a good chance that whatever the financial consequences are, it won't disable us totally and forever."
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Burnige went on to discuss how long he thinks this pandemic will continue to cause chaos with the schedule. "I think that the most vulnerable thing in the football calendar at the moment is Euro 2020. I'm expecting that to go by the board. I really am. I think that'll be postponed for a year. And that means that we could play on a little bit longer, but bare in mind, the Premier League and the EFL want to know who's in which division next season.
"And so you've got to have those playoffs at some stage. So I think it's all to play for. I wouldn't like to hazard a guess as to what they will do. But quite frankly I'm not sure that we'll be playing games in front of supporters in May, let alone in in March."
Burnige's comments come before the Premier League and The EFL confirmed all action will be suspended until 3rd April at the earliest. Millwall are scheduled to travel to relegation threatened Charlton on 4th April.
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