Hartlepool CEO reveals how much money the club could lose if the National League is suspended just like the Premier League and EFL.
Some clubs including Chesterfield have protested the league’s decision not to follow suit until at least April 4 to try and contain the outbreak.
Hartlepool’s match at Sutton would go ahead as planned and finished 1-1, though reports claim the National League are expected to hold another meeting next week on another potential suspension.
Pools chief executive Mark Maguire said on BBC 5 live: “We’re in a lucky position that we’ve got a chairman who will support us.
“I had a long meeting with him yesterday afternoon, the reality is that it would be a big hit financially and it would cost us about £25,000 per home game that gets called off which is a big chunk but we’ve still got to pay wages.
“It would be a big hit but we’ve had the conversation and he’s content to support us out of his own pocket in that regard.
“But there are clubs out there who might not be as fortunate and it would have a massive impact on them so it’s a huge concern.”
Writing on Twitter in a series of posts, Chester boss Anthony Johnson wrote: “It’s ok saying ‘play games behind closed doors’ but what happens to clubs whose main income stream are the paying supporters at a home game?!?
“Surely a contingency plan includes compensation for those clubs from the FA/government. Paying them what their average attendance is.
“Playing behind closed doors will finish clubs off it’s that simple. That’s not an over exaggeration, there’ll be zero cash flow at clubs who rely on the paying fan.
“They play behind closed doors, zero income from the paying fan. They postpone games, clubs still need to pay wages with no cash flow.Lose/Lose unfortunately.
“And of course the most important thing is saving lives and stopping the virus spreading.
However, when it’s contained and hopefully stopped football clubs (businesses) will disappear UNLESS there’s a contingency plan put in place.”
Why is the National League continuing?
BBC Sport’s Simon Stone answered some questions about this season and the impact the suspension will have on the sport.
He said on the National League: “To repeat, it is the Premier League and EFL clubs plus the Football Association who took Friday’s decision. Government advice on Thursday was that matches could continue.
“The National League has taken the option to follow government advice. Notts County average attendances of more than 5,000, so there are plenty of fans who follow that level of the game anyway.
“If clubs get overwhelmed by spectators, I guess the National League may have a rethink but for now, for them, it is business as usual.”