Coronavirus: Man United legend Gary Neville voices opinion on football fixtures

Gary Neville has his say on the decision to play a large number of games behind closed doors amid the coronavirus outbreak

The Sport Review staff
By The Sport Review staff
Gary Neville
Gary Neville (Photo: Sky Sports)

Gary Neville has taken to social media to insist that he does not support the idea of playing football matches behind closed doors amid the coronavirus outbreak.

A number of games have been set up to be played without fans in recent days, and Manchester United’s Europa League clash against LASK on Thursday night is one of them.

Meanwhile, Arsenal’s home clash against Manchester City at The Emirates on Wednesday night was postponed as a precaution amid the outbreak of the novel Covid-19 virus.

Manchester United legend Neville feels that playing games without fans is only going to increase the financial pressure on smaller clubs, who could lose out in revenue from tickets sold.

Neville tweeted: “I do NOT support matches played behind closed doors.

“If it’s necessary to shut down stadiums the associations must find a way of delaying the season and playing the games when it is safe to do so to protect the revenues for clubs that require this income to survive.”

Responding to a comment on the above post, Neville added in a separate tweet: “For league clubs that can’t afford this disruption, money is everything!

“This keeps people safe and protects the Revenue the clubs need. Playing behind closed doors is not an option IMO.

“Some clubs would require short term loans that could be repaid when the games do get played.”

A statement on Manchester United’s website about the decision to play their forthcoming Europa League tie behind closed doors was published on Tuesday.

It read: “Following guidance from the Austrian Government, we have been informed by Uefa and LASK that the Europa League game on Thursday will be played behind closed doors.

“LASK will now cancel tickets that had been issued to Manchester United. We will automatically issue refunds on behalf of LASK to our fans who have purchased tickets.”

Manchester United are due to return to Premier League action on Sunday afternoon when they travel to north London to take on Tottenham Hotspur.

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