Portsmouth chief executive outlines pitfalls over extending season amid coronavirus crisis

Mark Catlin has outlined some of the difficulties English football face in completing the season if leagues aren’t resumed after the coronavirus suspension.
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And the Pompey chief executive made it clear sacrifices will need to be made if the campaign is to be seen through to completion.

The game is today in uncharted territory following the matches being put on hold at elite level in response to pandemic engulfing the world.

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Catlin expressed concerns, however, about the logistics of doing so if the suspension is extended beyond the initial period.

The chief executive has now detailed some of the issues raised from the season extending into the summer.

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They include players’ contracts, the impact on stadium work and the personal circumstances of players.

Chief executive Mark CatlinChief executive Mark Catlin
Chief executive Mark Catlin

Catlin stressed it’s not impossible to overcome these issues, but they are all factors which need to be considered.

He said: ‘There does seem to be a consensus of opinion that the Euros should be knocked back a year into 2021 and the season can carry on into the summer.

‘There are some issues which exist around that, however.

‘I’m not saying they are insurmountable, but players’ contracts expire.

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‘What happens to the players who are in discussions with clubs and are committed to sign in the summer. Who do they play for when their contracts expire?

‘There’s difficulties around it and there is the fact that football traditionally shuts down in the summer after the last game.

‘There’s commitments commercially with the stadium and stadium repair work take place.

‘Players also have holidays booked. I know personally of three players getting married here who are getting married at the start of June.

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‘I’m not saying it’s insurmountable but there are different things to consider and it’s not so easy as saying just extend it.

‘There is a window to do it, but it’s not as big a window as some would think.

‘That said, there if there is the desire to get the season finished then people will need to make sacrifices.’