Play into the summer says Preston North End advisor Peter Ridsdale
Preston North End advisor Peter Ridsdale thinks it is ‘absolutely critical’ that the season is allowed to be played to a finish.
The EFL and Premier League have suspended the season until the first weekend of April amid the Covid-19 pandemic but a return to action then looks unlikely.
North End are sixth in the Championship with nine matches to play.
With everything to play for in all four divisions – Liverpool being within touching distance of the Premier League title being the exception – Ridsdale wants to see the season to run its full course.
If that means it going into the summer and a later start to next season, that is a small price to pay says Ridsdale who is advisor to PNE owner Trevor Hemmings. Ridsdale told the Lancashire Post: “I think it is absolutely critical that we finish the season.
“There have been some suggestions just to write the season off but how can they say that?
“Who is going to tell that to Liverpool? Who is going to tell that to the clubs throughout the league who are battling for promotion?
“Why should we as a club miss out on the chance to challenge for the play-offs?
“If you win the play-offs and get to the Premier League you get £100m. Staying down it is £6m a season.
“I understand totally that it is people’s health which is the only concern at the moment and rightly so.
“But at the end of the day we run a business so we have to do the right thing.
“There are nine games to go this season, which isn’t a huge amount.
“Looking at the figures from the Government, the peak of this might not be until April or May, so it might only be then that we are able to start playing again.
“You’ve got to look at the football calendar between now and summer 2022 when the World Cup is played.
“In that time you have to see how much football you can get in.”
After Friday’s decision to postpone the next three games, the North End players and coaching staff met with club doctor Dominic Lakeland to discuss coronavirus.
For now, the squad will continue training and follow the medical guidelines.
Ridsdale said: “With the age the players are, the belief is that they would get this virus mildly if they did catch it.
“At the moment they are going to train as normal but might get an extra day off in the week. That is something which Alex Neil and myself will review as we go along.
“We’ve told the lads that they can’t travel abroad, even though that would be difficult anyway.”