Manchester City players celebrate

Football’s most powerful leaders must set aside their differences to rescue the game from its coronavirus crisis, a leading expert has said.

FIFA – Coronavirus

There is alot of pressure to resume despite government-imposed lockdowns to prevent the COVID-19 spread.

Richard Cramer, a lawyer with UK-based sports law firm Front Row Legal, says relationships in football could be pushed to the brink.

In an interview with Stats Perform, Cramer explained: “All the chief executives, the power-brokers within sport, will want to see everybody within their league or their own particular sector trying to agree on a unanimous basis, because what unanimous votes do is create certainty, and it eliminates those clubs that are feeling disenfranchised, which is usually the recipe for litigation. So, everyone is trying right now, I would imagine, to get full agreement.

“What we have seen which is so far very good is, number one, Premier League agree unanimous initial lockdown until April 3. Then they’ve agreed unanimously to go to April 30, and when they do resume, which will probably be I would imagine maybe June time – I think they’re talking about June 1 – they’ll want everybody within the Premier League, all the clubs, all the chief executives, to go with a unanimous vote on that one. And it’s the same with the EFL [English Football League].

“Then you’ve got all the governing bodies – the Football Association, the EFL, the Premier League, FIFA, UEFA – and all of those organisations will want to work as one unit, which is quite unusual really because usually there are tensions and those organisations might be at loggerheads.

“But in a perverse sort of way, this unbelievable scenario we are in now might bring a closer unity between all sports and between clubs.”