FA Chairman Greg Clarke has admitted that the Premier League season could not be completed, as he called for football stakeholders to help save the game.
The Premier League and EFL campaigns are both suspended indefinitely, with plans to resume the campaign in the summer months among the many scenarios being discussed once the coronavirus crisis eases.
However, while confirming that fully completing the season with promotion in a football.london report, Clarke said relegation and title winners is the plan, Clarke stated that human life was the priority and admitted the season may not be completed.
As part of a statement , Clarke said: “Returning to the issue of uncertainty, no one knows how long the lock down will last and what social distancing measures will endure even when the daily rate of infection is much reduced. Our Government is rightly cautious as human life is at stake and prudence is our only sensible option.
“We are committed to finishing the professional football season as this resolves the issues of promotion and relegation together with title winners on merit. However, we may not be able to finish the season as football is not our priority, human life is, and we will do as the Government directs as the pandemic unfolds.”
He also issued a stark warning regarding clubs lower down the football pyramid, with the economic implications potentially having a drastic impact: “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.”
Clarke also warned that Premier League clubs are not immune from these severe scenarios and urged football stakeholders to unite to create a plan to ensure English football is not ‘decimated
“Everyone should understand that the Premier League clubs are not immune from the impact of this and whilst they are impacted to different degrees depending on their cost base, the potential overall financial impact is huge.
“We must have a plan to ensure that English football is not decimated should this season be lost and next season blighted. We hope we do not need this plan as we are all determined to finish the professional football season, however we would be fools not to develop such a contingency plan. Those that lost their clubs because English football did not rise to the challenge would rightly judge us harshly.
“Time is pressing as football burns through its cash reserves with no sign yet of a resumption of the game. Pointing fingers serves no purpose.
“It is time for the stakeholders to agree common cause to save our game. Contribute. Football is a team game and now is the time for teamwork.”