Man City vs Real Madrid Champions League fixture called off after coronavirus scare
Several media outlets, including L’Equipe, report that UEFA will announce that it will postpone EURO 2020 one year, until 2021, so that the Champions League and Europa League may conclude instead this summer. Both competitions will be suspended until further notice.
FIFA will have to approve the measure, and there will be further ramifications throughout the sport. Currently, the new Club World Cup was being planned for summer 2021.
As for the Bundesliga itself, the German federation has so far resisted calls to suspend the season, but that position may change as the crisis worsens and neighboring leagues suspend operations. The players of Hannover 96 have just been placed in home-bound quarantine. It is hard to imagine the 2.Bundesliga proceeding without them.
MLS announced Thursday that it is suspending the 2020 season for at least 30 days, bowing to concerns over the spread of COVID-19, more commonly referred to as the “coronavirus.” The suspension will take place immediately, meaning matches will not take place this weekend. Concacaf Champions League, as well as upcoming United States men’s and women’s friendlies in March and April, were also called off.
All football in the Netherlands has been suspended until the end of the month because of the coronavirus epidemic, which means the Dutch national team have cancelled warm-up matches ahead of the European Championship.
The Dutch Football Association (KNVB) said on Thursday all league games, as well as amateur football, had been called off until April 1 following the government’s decision earlier on Thursday to ban all gatherings with more than 100 people in the hope of stemming the spread of the virus.
Previously the KNVB had called off games in the North Brabant province, but the postponements are now nationwide.
Everton Football Club can confirm that, as a precautionary measure, its entire first-team squad and coaching staff are undertaking a period of self-isolation following medical advice.
The step has been taken after a first-team player reported symptoms consistent with coronavirus. The Club is in regular contact with the player in question and is monitoring the wellbeing of all players and staff.
The health, welfare and safety of all Everton players, staff and stakeholders is the Club’s absolute priority. Therefore, the Club has taken the decision to close down all Everton workplaces including USM Finch Farm, Goodison Park and its headquarters at the Royal Liver Building in Liverpool City Centre. The Club’s retail store at Goodison Park will also close but its Liverpool ONE store is unaffected and will remain open.
Everton will continue to adhere to UK Government and Public Health guidelines with regards to the closure of its facilities and wellbeing of staff and will be discussing next steps with regards to upcoming fixtures with the Premier League on Friday morning.
Further updates will be provided in due course, including guidance relating to forthcoming fixtures.
Up to a fifth of EFL clubs could face financial oblivion if matches remain suspended for several months because of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a football finance expert.
Some League One and League Two clubs rely on the 'lifeline' of ticket and matchday revenue for 70 per cent of their income and even a short period without this money coming in could prove fatal.
Dr. Rob Wilson, of the Sheffield Hallam University Business School, feels that while Premier League clubs can easily absorb the financial hit from a pause in playing, it's a critical time for those further down the football pyramid. The Premier League and the EFL took the decision on Friday last week to suspend all fixtures until at least April 3 to mitigate the impact of the deadly virus, which has killed 35 in the United Kingdom.
We've already seen Bury go bust and drop out of the EFL this season and bosses of Tranmere Rovers, Accrington Stanley and Rochdale were among those expressing concern over the weekend.
And Dr Wilson believes we could potentially see a repeat of the Bury scenario in the EFL if coronavirus forces a long break or the season is curtailed.
'It could be really significant. For a number of League One and League Two clubs, 70 per cent of their revenue will be made up from ticket sales and associated matchday revenue,' he said.
'That's people buying stuff at half-time, buying something in the club shop, buying a programme. So if you cut that off, it's like cutting off a lifeline to keeping the clubs afloat financially.
'It has been well documented that most clubs below the Premier League just about wash their face financially and are dependent on that revenue. You cut it off and you essentially kill the club. 15 to 20 per cent are on that real hand to mouth existence with no leeway.
'We could be talking in the next two or three months about the next Bury or Bolton scenario. I think the league administrators will be acutely aware of this.'
Key to the survival of some clubs will simply be completing the season so they can budget accordingly, even if that means waiting until late summer or the autumn when the impact of the virus has peaked.
'We will realistically have several months without football from here,' added Dr Wilson.
'Clubs who have budgeted for the whole season may find this pause potentially fatal for them. It depends on how they manage it.
'All will have budgeted for a season's worth of income and most will have budgeted to just about break even.'