Premier League chief executive Richard Masters warned of a potential £1billion loss due the coronavirus pandemic if the season is not resumed.
“We face a £1billion loss, at least, if we fail to complete season 2019-20, and further losses going forward if the seriousness of the pandemic deepens and extends into the future.”
Masters argued it was the right of Premier League clubs, such as Tottenham, Newcastle, Norwich and Bournemouth, to utilize furloughing in the circumstances, having seen Liverpool reverse their decision following widespread criticism.
“The furlough scheme announced by Government is meant for the whole economy, including many enterprises which might be regarded as providing entertainment or otherwise dependent on elite talent.
“Not only is our industry facing losses now, but to be realistic, we must also base our plans on full recovery being some distance away.
“Ultimately, the very heavy losses that we face will have to be dealt with or else clubs or other enterprises who depend on football for income will go out of business.”
Masters’ letter emerged after FA chairman Clarke said everyone must “step up and share the pain” inflicted on football, having announced on Monday that the governing body’s top earners were taking a 30 per cent among other cost-saving measures.
Clarke told the FA Council on Tuesday:
“Football faces economic challenges beyond the wildest imagination of those who run it.
“The pandemic will be followed by its economic consequences and all business sectors will suffer.
“We face the danger of losing clubs and leagues as finances collapse. Many communities could lose the clubs at their heart with little chance of resurrection.
“In the face of this unprecedented adversity, all the stakeholders within the game from players, fans, clubs, owners and administrators need to step up and share the pain to keep the game alive.”
Professional football in England is suspended indefinitely and a return date being kept under constant review, meaning the season is set to go well beyond the intended finish date.
With leagues across the world impacted by Covid-19, FIFA has announced measures designed to extend players’ contracts and establish a transfer window based around any new calendar.
The losses are daunting, which is why the push to resume the season is all about money and has nothing to do with player safety. What happens if the teams start training again and someone comes down with coronavirus? Do you keep stopping and starting the season in an attempt to finish it, just so the clubs can keep the TV money?