EPL warns of devastating effect of delay reopening stadiums

September 23, 2020
Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Fernando Marcal is replaced by teammate Ruben Vinagre (left), during the English Premier League football match.
Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Fernando Marcal is replaced by teammate Ruben Vinagre (left), during the English Premier League football match.

LONDON (AP):

Even the world's richest football league is worried that it can't function as normal much longer without fans in the stands.

After the British government imposed new pandemic restrictions yesterday, the English Premier League warned of the "devastating" financial impact it could have on clubs as supporters faced being locked out of games for another six months.

Sports -- including football, rugby and horse racing -- have asked the government for financial assistance after Prime Minister Boris Johnson halted plans to allow the phased return of spectators into sporting venues in England from October 1 because of a spike in coronavirus cases.

"Football is not the same without attending fans and the football economy is unsustainable without them," the Premier League said in a statement. "Last season, Premier League clubs suffered 700 million pounds ($897 million) in losses and at present, our national game is losing more than 100 million pounds ($128 million) per month."

The government felt compelled to reverse the reopening of society after its top scientific and medical advisers said new coronavirus cases were doubling every seven days.

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