Chairman of Doncaster Rovers' promotion rivals not in favour of shutting EFL to deal with coronavirus
Darragh MacAnthony, chairman of Doncaster Rovers’ League One rivals Peterborough United, is not in favour of shutting down the Football League while the UK deals with coronavirus.
Accrington Stanley chairman Andy Holt yesterday called for a pause in all football competitions while the real threat of the virus is assessed.
There have been more than 90,000 cases of the virus in 87 countries.
Sports authorities, broadcasters and the Government have met this week to discuss contingency plans in case the virus spreads further.
The Premier League and EFL have already ditched pre-match handshakes between both teams and officials until further notice because of fears the virus will spread to more people.
MacAnthony is not trying to play the threat down. He is keen on contingency measures to help supporters if stadiums are closed and matches are played behind closed doors.
“I have no idea what’s going to happen,” MacAnthony said on Twitter. “But I’m not a fan of stilling our league and if necessary we should play out fixtures & beam games to season ticket holders for free if allowed.
“We would lose around £200k if our games were played behind closed doors, but I’m just hoping for the best outcome.
“I am though fed up with people panicking and posting every negative, slanted article possible about it 24/7. Of course, there is reason to be concerned, but there is no need to panic yet and hopefully there will be no need to panic at all.”
Holt, who is a good friend of MacAnthony’s, disagreed.
Holt said: “If I had my way the EFL would pause the season in response to the virus. The games can be caught up nearer summer when we know better how bad this filthy, horrible virus affects the UK.
“There is no case for continuing increasing risks with gatherings of millions of supporters.
“The EFL could easily borrow cash against future TV income to help clubs bridge the gap.
“We should not be gaming this virus. One life lost is too many and I don’t care how old or infirm the person is.”