Shrewsbury Town chief Brian Caldwell: Season end is a threat

Shrewsbury Town chief executive Brian Caldwell has warned that cancelling the League One season could threaten the existence of clubs.

Brian Caldwell
Brian Caldwell

Caldwell, who has been involved in the regular League One electronic conference calls, reiterated that it remains the intention of the EFL to finish the season when possible.

He added that ending the season prematurely due to the coronavirus could dissatisfy several key league sponsors and bring 'financial pitfalls'.

The National League, whose three divisions sit below League Two, joined the rest of non-league this week in cancelling the remainder of the 2019/20 season. Sam Ricketts' Shrewsbury sit 16th in League One having played 34 of 44 scheduled fixtures.

"The EFL Board are still committed to try and finish the season somehow and if its safe to do so," Caldwell said.

"There are financial pitfalls from not completing the season, for example broadcasters, EFL sponsors could potentially ask for a refund on matches not played and there is also a potential for season ticket holders to want to claim too.

"These financial issues could cause many a club to fold as with all clubs having no income streams just now.

"If clubs then have to pay money back already given to them by the EFL for broadcasting, Sky Bet sponsorship as well as other EFL commercial partners, plus season ticket holders this could be a huge financial burden to most clubs to survive."

EFL chief Rick Parry last week addressed supporters through a letter to state it remains the intention to finish the campaign, but the likelihood is that will be in empty stadiums behind closed doors.

Several Shrewsbury representatives have spoken against playing fixtures behind closed doors but government measures on social distancing make for difficult planning,

The plan still remains for players to resume training on May 16 but the prospect of completing the campaign in 56 days, as outlined by the league, has been labelled 'optimistic' by Caldwell and drew injury fears from boss Ricketts.

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