EXCLUSIVE Sean Gregan Preston North End column: Football must take back seat

I am not too sure what to make of everything that is going on in the world right now. It feels so strange – an unprecedented time in our lifetimes.

Friday, 20th March 2020, 5:00 pm
Updated Friday, 20th March 2020, 5:05 pm

The coronavirus has kind of brought the world as we know it to a standstill.

For me it feels so surreal because I don’t know of anybody who has got the disease, although I am sure it won’t be long before we are touched by it.

You see the pictures from Italy, where it has really taken hold, and other countries – and it looks horrendous.

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Wembley Stadium this week after it was announced UEFA has decided to postpone Euro 2020 until the summer of 2021

I think we as a society have just got to accept the Government’s advice and follow their instructions whether it be to stay indoors at home, self-isolate – whatever it takes to get control of this disease.

In terms of the football, it should be the least of our concerns right now.

But if you want my opinion, I am a firm believer that this season should finish no matter what.

However that is done and however late it happens – it needs to be completed once we have got on top of this 
virus.

If that means playing behind closed door or playing four games per week, then that is what should be done to keep the integrity of the competition. The Premier League and the EFL suspended the season initially until the beginning of April and they have put that back even further until the end of next month.

The likelihood is that the season will not be able to reconvene then, so you could be looking at playing during the summer.

The postponement of the European Championship will help with that but I am not so sure that we will be able to get the season back up and running in four months’ time. I get the feeling that will come too soon in the fight against Covid-19.

We could be looking at the prospect that by the time the start of next season comes around, we won’t have finished the last one.

I am still a firm believer that this season must be finished if that was to happen.

People talk about the season being frozen as it is now which theoretically would work for Preston with them being in the Championship play-offs.

But there would be so many legal challenges by clubs it just wouldn’t work. I think the players at PNE and other clubs would prefer the season to be played to a conclusion and I would be in favour of delaying next season until this one is done.

Maybe adaptations may have to be made for next season where you only play some teams once and the clubs will draw lots to see who gets home advantage.

The disease is going to impact the way players are going to be able to train.

I doubt they will be able to head down to the training ground as a group in fear of spreading the disease.

It will be like pre-season where the clubs will be handing out training guidance for the players to follow to make sure they keep on top of their fitness so they are ready to go once the season gets going.

The most important thing is that people stay safe and as long as they stay sensible, I am sure life will get back to normal soon.