The ex-England international admits sport cannot be held to “conventional timings for the next year” as schedules are torn up by the Covid-19 pandemic
With English football having been closed down indefinitely, Liverpool legend John Barnes admits there is “no summer transfer window anymore”.
Competitive action had initially been shut down amid the coronavirus pandemic until April 3.
That suspension has, as expected, now been extended through to the end of April.
It is unclear when, or if, fixture lists will be cleared to resume in all of those divisions taking in enforced breaks around the world.
Scheduling has been thrown into chaos, with the decision already taken by UEFA to push Euro 2020 back by 12 months.
Decisions have yet to be made on what will happen if the current campaign has to be written off, with league titles up for grabs along with promotion and relegation spots.
There is also the issue of when clubs will be freed to bolster their ranks again, with the hope being that domestic calendars will be completed by June 30 – with July opening for business as usual.
Barnes is not convinced, with the ex-England international telling BonusCodeBets: “There is no summer transfer window anymore, it’s an end of season window.
“If the season is still going on in November or March then the window will have to be then, whenever it starts and ends.
“Players who are out of contract at the end of the season so they will have to be extended until the end of the season, not July as usual – the question is whether clubs down the leagues can pay their players for that long?
“This will only be for one year, I’m sure in a year or two it will go back to normal. But you cannot hold people to conventional timings for the next year.”
Loss of income through gate receipts and players sales is threatening to hit many clubs hard, with Barnes calling on members of the elite to help out those less fortunate than themselves.
The former Liverpool midfielder added: “We have to get away from this idea that top-level footballers are going through a hard time. Footballers on the highest rungs haven’t got to worry about mortgages and bank balances.
“Compared to a self-employed painter and decorator, footballers are holding up just fine. But I see how players in the lower leagues will be worried about their mortgages.
“Football is not in a more unique position than anyone else in these troubled times. This is the precarious state of the world and all businesses.
“From a footballing perspective, maybe everyone can come together under FIFA and UEFA and the Premier League to alleviate the problem football clubs have. But unfortunately other sectors do not have that safety net, they will just have governments to rely on.
“I just hope the smaller clubs are still around in the next six months to a year to start again, because football will eventually kick-start – and we need every club to still be afloat when that happens as they are so important to people’s lives and wellbeing.
“I worry for lower league clubs, it’s grave for them. The Government need to help out all smaller businesses of which football clubs are some. You cannot kick them out of the equation and say they are football’s problem and rely on the Premier League as they may have a lot of money. It is an issue for the whole nation.
“But of course, the Premier League must also step forward and do their bit for the next little while to help other clubs in need.”
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