Premier League clubs prepare doomsday scenario budgets

Two of Sheffield United’s Premier League rivals are drawing-up budgets which take into account the possibility that even next season could take place behind closed doors as the impact of the coronavirus crisis on even top flight clubs’ finances becomes apparent.

Sunday, 3rd May 2020, 4:00 pm
Updated Sunday, 3rd May 2020, 4:05 pm

Liverpool and Manchester United have reportedly commissioned investigations into how the scenario would affect their revenue streams as splits begin to emerge among clubs over the contents of ‘Project Restart’; the plan designed to enable the present campaign to be completed later this summer.

With no matches being staged since the beginning of March, there is a consensus within the game that the spectators will be banned from watching the remaining 92 fixtures because social distancing rules, introduced to curb the spread of the respiratory disease, prohibit mass gatherings. But with those unlikely to be eased in their entirety for the rest of the year, officials at Anfield and Old Trafford fear supporters could be prohibited from entering stadia throughout the 2020/21 campaign too.

Their counterparts at United are expected to also examine how they would cope should that become a reality before the Government outlines how and when it expects to begin easing restrictions later this week.

Sign up to our Sheffield United newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

On Friday, when PL members met to review their response to the pandemic, it emerged 10 approved grounds could be used to host fixtures in order to prevent the present season being abandoned.

Although that proposal is believed to have the support of many teams within the division, some sources claim that those towards the bottom of the table are opposed to the idea of abandoning the ‘home and away’ formula by requiring clubs to play at neutral venues.

United were seventh in the table and preparing to face Arsenal in the FA Cup quarter-finals when the sport entered lockdown.

Chris Wilder, the United manager, has made his opposition to the idea of using anything other than actual results to decide the final league placings clear.

Bramall Lane, the home of Sheffield United, is unlikely to stage any more Premier League games this season

"For me, we should be looking at how we can finish this season before we start worrying about the next one," he said recently.

An important message:

In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news, please purchase a copy of our newspapers or subscribe to thestar.co.uk.

The coronavirus lockdown is having a major impact on many of our local advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive. That means we are more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news and information.

Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards in the world. But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers and subscribe to our website during this crisis.

Stay safe and take care. Thank you, James.