SHAY Given believes that some football clubs in England won’t bounce back from the Covid-19 shutdown.
Premier League bosses remain hopeful of restarting action soon, but in a television address last night Prime Minister Boris Johnson did not give any indication on professional sports.
Given is the goalkeeping coach at Championship club Derby County and the Lifford man fears for the future of clubs feeling the strain.
“It’s frustrating, it’s been a long few weeks, in the Championship we are governed by what the Premier League do as if they can restart, they will be looking at the Championship games as well to follow what the Premier League do,” said Given, speaking on RTÉ Sunday Sport.
“We’re looking for a way forward, to get football back on, it would give us a boost and a focus away from Covid-19.
“There are talks behind the scenes that we don’t know about, the EFL will be governed by the Premier League and it’s frustrating as you are waiting for the phone to ring or see what the next step is, you wonder ‘are we back training next week?’.
“And then you have to wait for another week. Hopefully they will ease up the lockdown a bit and give us a chance to get back, it will take the players three or four weeks to get the players up to fitness again so it can’t happen overnight, they need to get back training, it will take time.”
Clubs in the lower leagues have expressed concern about how a restart plan will look and the possibility of games behind closed doors brings its own challenges.
Given said: “We have a good medical team behind us and the players will be well prepped on what’s the best thing to do, we see the German clubs back training but doing individual training, keeping a distance, temperature checks when you get into the building and I am sure we will do the same.
“But will the clubs in League One and League Two have the finances to do that sort of thing? I’m not sure they will, and even in the Championship a lot of the money comes from gate receipts, if you stop having crowds it will be very difficult for these leagues to continue.
“Neutral venues will have a big cost, with no crowds, you still need a lot of people behind the scenes, I’d rather play as normal, home and away, and do the best as you can for the safety of the people playing.
“It’s around this time of the year you’d be selling season tickets for next season and that’s not there, it’s a tough time for all the clubs and some of them will be bankrupted by this, some clubs won’t be back.”