FLEETWOOD chairman Andy Pilley fears at least 10 ‘famous clubs’ could go to the wall due to the coronavirus pandemic.
And he believes it could be next year before Football League games are played in front of a crowd again.
Pilley worries about the effect that will have on season tickets, sponsorship deals and corporate sales when planning for the new season starts.
Pilley said: “My football club will be OK. I may have to cost cut but I will find a way to navigate through these times.
“My concern is that we may have double figures of football clubs who go to the wall, famous clubs who will no longer exist.
“The integrity of the competition is at stake. We want a healthy football league with sustainable clubs for the future.
“Our last home game was March 7 – that was he last time we got gate receipts.
“On March 12 we closed our sports complex and have lost lots of revenue streams.
“Rental of pitches, offices, parties. Our situation will be the same for many clubs.”
The problem of getting fans safely into the stadiums when ‘mass gatherings’ are banned is another concern.
And Pilley admits he would be surprised if the rules are relaxed before the end of the current calendar year.
He added: “I am the eternal optimist, however I must be a realist about what’s going to happen in the future. My prediction is that there could be no games in 2020 in front of crowds.
“When we come out of lockdown and be back to normal, there’ll be a gradual release. Mass gatherings are not going to be permitted.
“Medium term there will be no revenue either, games will be played behind closed doors. Ghost games.
“That’s the only way we’ll be able to conclude the season, which is absolutely essential.”
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