Jordan urges English football to get real over coronavirus threat

Joe Williams
Coronavirus Premier League

Simon Jordan thinks English football needs to wake up over the threat from the coronavirus outbreak.

The increasing likelihood that ‘social distancing’ measures will come into place in the UK in an attempt to contain the virus will mean that football matches will possibly be played behind closed doors or cancelled.

Italy has already taken the measures of postponing domestic sport until April 3, while La Liga in Spain and Ligue 1 in France will play matches behind closed doors until further notice.

And Jordan expects the Premier League and other leagues in England to follow suit with it being the only option.

“The most important thing is that we have a very significant disease,” Jordan told talkSPORT.

“It’s an epidemic that has the potential to become a pandemic.

“What we have to do is stop this disease in its tracks. If that means that sport, where huge amounts of people gather, has to go behind closed doors, then that’s what it means – end of discussion.”

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The Premier League game between Manchester City and Arsenal at Manchester’s Etihad Stadium on Wednesday night has been postponed “as a precautionary measure” due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The move came after a positive test for Covid-19 was returned by Olympiacos owner Evangelos Marinakis – whose side played at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium on February 27.

And Jordan reckons Premier League clubs will be able to “afford” to take the hit for a few weeks.

“Each Premier League club, if they went behind closed doors [for two weeks], would probably lose £2million,” Jordan added.

“If they can afford to pay Antonio Conte £85m to buzz off, some of these football clubs can absorb that within the confines of their framework.

“You’re talking about League One clubs losing about £80,000. If they have to go behind closed doors, it’s not ideal, but if you’re in League One and you’re going to go bust over £80,000, then you’re already in trouble.

“This landscape that somehow football is going to die, the League One and League Two clubs are going to fall off the planet if they lose this revenue, while I’m not making it a light subject, I’m saying we need some context.”