Why Portsmouth chief executive Mark Catlin now fears Portsmouth's season could be over
Mark Catlin fears the extent of the logistical issues facing the EFL could put paid to Pompey’s season.
The Blues chief executive now harbours serious worries for the Blues’ bid to reach the Championship, after League One’s suspension amid the coronavirus crisis.
Catlin has been an unstinting advocate of playing the campaign to a conclusion with nine games of the regular campaign remaining for Kenny Jackett’s men.
But he now feels the depth of the task in bringing all the elements together to get the game moving again at third-tier level could make doing so impossible.
Much hangs on the action taken by government, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson due to speak to the nation on Sunday after the latest Covid-19 review.
But even with their support, Catlin believes there’s a world of difference between getting football going at Premier League compared to the lower leagues.
He said: ‘There’s mood swings. There’s some countries getting back to playing in a few weeks and positive government talks, so you get your hopes up.
‘But I’m looking at what’s required just to get the Premier League going. Could the Championship do it? Possibly.
‘Could League One and League Two do it? It’s very difficult.
‘I just think everyone is waiting to see what the government says. It’s not in football’s hands.
‘Football can do what it wants but without the government agreeing to it nothing will happen. So there’s not a lot else to do at the moment but wait and see.’
Catlin’s’ concerns centre on the multitude of issues which must be successfully tackled to allow football to safely recommence in League One.
Chief among them is the safety of the players and the testing process which would need to be in place to limit the spread of Covid-19.
Catlin added: ‘Players’ health and safety in League One and League Two can’t be of any less worth than the Premier League.
‘I’m assuming if it’s safe for the Prem that has to be the bar for League One and League Two as well. You can’t do a watered down version in terms of health and safety.
‘If there’s a testing regime required, maybe x number of people are required to be a part of it to see it rolled out in the Prem.
‘If you roll out that, I think the Champ could achieve it but if you get down to League One and League Two there's plenty of clubs with no income at the minute who are going to struggle to get to those levels.’