The worldwide Coronavirus virus has caused mass disruption to businesses, sporting events and everyday life this month. With 8,000 deaths already reported, many health experts fear the worst is yet to come.
The FA have suspended the Premier League until Friday 3 April at the earliest, with many feeling the suspension will be upheld for much longer. Other sporting and social events have been cancelled, whilst many workers have been struck off or forced to work from home, where possible.
Football is not the only sport suffering, as the NBA and NHL seasons have too been postponed in the USA to the disappointment of millions of fans. Just about everything has been postponed now. In England, it was confirmed on Tuesday that the 2020 Grand National has been cancelled indefinitely – the most famous horse racing event in the world. This came just days after the Cheltenham Festival had been given the all clear and went ahead.
Aside from the fans, Tiger Roll may be the biggest loser of the event’s cancellation. The horse had been looking to win its third successive National according to horse racing tips like these, which would have been a record. Tiger Roll had been the bookmakers’ favourite like Liverpool, but all bets are off now. When the racing calendar and other sporting events will resume is not yet known, but few are expecting anything positive before May. Liverpool FC fans are starting to be concerned with the reality that the 2019-20 Premier League season could be cancelled and voided as a result.
UEFA have also announced that Euro 2020 will be postponed for 12 months and has advised football associations to finish their domestic competitions by the end of June.
With 9-10 fixtures left for each Premier League side, it would be possible to squeeze the remaining games into a five- or six-week schedule if necessary, which would mean resuming the league from mid-May at the latest. The FA say they will do all they can to get the current campaign completed, which could be behind closed doors. They have not indicated that the league will be voided, but West Ham United CEO Karren Brady has stated it would be fairer to void the season rather than calling it complete should no further fixtures take place.
Small businesses are being hit harder than any horse or football competition though. Many are expected to fold in the coming weeks or months as a result of the epidemic.
The city of Liverpool is no different, with the latest news being that all cruises have been called off from Liverpool terminal today as the coronavirus has hit the industry hard. Cruise Liverpool has said that no vessels will call at the terminal until at least June, leaving many workers relying on the British government to aid them financially during this crisis.