Mark Palios: Tranmere Rovers chairman doubts whether season will be finished

Mark Palios
Mark and Nicola Palios took a controlling interest in Tranmere in August 2014

Tranmere Rovers chairman Mark Palios has said he is now unsure if it will be possible to finish this season because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Football in England has been suspended indefinitely since March and there is no working return date in place.

Last week League Two side Bradford City suspended season-ticket sales for 2020-21 because they said it was a "growing possibility" fans would not be able to attend matches until 2021.

"Last Thursday was the first time I found myself saying 'I'm finding it really difficult to see this season getting finished'," Palios told BBC Sport.

"The longer it goes on, I would suspect we get to the point whereby we don't complete the season and that's accepted and whatever happens with promotion and relegation will happen."

Clubs below the Championship rely on gate receipts for as much as 50% of their income and football finance expert Kieran Maguire said on Sunday that the pandemic had taken EFL clubs "out at the knees".

Palios believes that clubs will soon have to look at making redundancies and that governing bodies may have to remove sanctions for clubs who enter administration.

The former Football Association chief executive said: "I know that playing behind closed doors has been looked at as an option for lower league clubs but I am yet to be convinced that they will find an option that will be sufficient to really make a difference commercially as opposed to playing in front of a crowd.

"Playing in front of a crowd is still the major thing for us as a lower league club."

He added: "What's happening is people are estimating people aren't going to have disposable income, so are you going to have the gates you had in the past? Are you going to have the food and beverage sales you had in the past? Are people going to buy shirts?

"The whole economic market when we come out of this is still going to be distressed. It was distressed beforehand and as a consequence we need to make sure that when we come out we do not miss the opportunity to really start to regulate that wages market which has been the cause of insolvencies and problems prior to this pandemic and will be even worse coming out."