Leeds owner Andrea Radrizzani: Coronavirus an economic 'disaster'

Wednesday 25th March 2020 08:30 GMT

The professional game in England remains suspended due to the escalating COVID-19 situation.

No games will take place until at least April 30 and Premier League clubs are set to meet next week to discuss the situation further.

When the season was halted, Leeds sat a point clear of West Brom at the top of the Sky Bet Championship and seven clear of third-placed Fulham with six matches left to play.

It remains to be seen what solution will be decided for promotion and relegation, with Euro 2020 having already been put back until next year to help allow for any extension to the campaign when it is deemed safe to resume.

Radrizzani accepts the global crisis of the coronavirus will have wide-ranging implications off the field but hopes a positive resolution can be found.

Sky Sports News understands Leeds are among a number of EFL clubs currently discussing the possibility of agreeing a wage deferral with their players.

In a live interview with Sky in Italy journalist Gianluca Di Marzio, the Leeds owner reflected on the implications of an unexpected sudden loss of revenue brought about by the pandemic.

"It's a disaster regrettably (for the economic implications of world football)," Radrizzani said.

"A club like ours loses £8-10m every year to be competitive, and nobody wants to keep a business that is losing money every year.

"This situation is worsening our balance. By not having five home matches, we miss out on around £2.5m that are the only source of income given that we don't have similar amounts coming in from TV rights.

"This aggravated epidemic is worsening this situation that is usually complicated enough."

Asked if there could be a salary cut at the club, Radrizzani replied: "Our management is carrying out two conversations, one with the federation and another with our players."

Radrizzani, though, accepts there is a bigger picture at the moment.

"Health comes before everything else and football can wait," he added.

"There is a global crisis that has hit everybody, mentally as well. The priority is to re-establish a balance and normality in the everyday life."

Radrizzani remains optimistic a positive outcome to the campaign can be found on the pitch, with suggestions football could try to kick-off again in early June - albeit behind closed doors.

"What happens with the end of the Championship? There is a lot of confusion and more rumours in the media than on the official level," he said.

"We want to play, but we don't know when we will be able to, and neither whether it will be behind closed or open doors.

"I hope [we can play] because I want to conquer promotion on the pitch, but I'm hopeful there can be a correct solution."

Radrizzani revealed manager Marcelo Bielsa remains in England and had not as yet requested to return home to Argentina.

"We will talk in the next few days," the Leeds owner said.

"I will leave him the freedom to decide whether to stay or go to the family."

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