It’s impossible to avoid talk of the coronavirus right now. Even Steve Bruce brought it up in his press conference last week.
But while Newcastle have banned handshakes, the Premier League could take matters even further.
There is a chance that Premier League games could be held behind closed doors in the coming weeks. That’s according to Everton’s chief financial officer Sasha Ryazantsev.
“It would be a forced decision rather than one we would proactively engage in,” he said at the FT Business of Football Summit in London, as reported by the Guardian.
“But the whole situation goes far beyond the world of sport. Of course nobody wants to play behind closed doors and I don’t think it’s inevitable at the moment that it will happen. But we feel it is quite likely it may happen in the coming weeks.”
That’s what is set to take place in Italy, with the next four weeks of Serie A games set to be competed in empty stadiums. This comes after multiples games were postponed following an outbreak of the virus.
The virus is dominating the headlines. On Wednesday the first case from Newcastle was confirmed.
And as Public Health England look to reduce the spread of the virus, sporting events could suffer.
That means that Newcastle might have to play in front of an empty St James’ Park, something that some fans have wanted for years.
With pressure on Mike Ashley to sell the club, many supporters dream of an empty St James’ Park to send a real message to the owner.
Those dreams could become a reality in the near future, but not for the right reasons. Fans could be forced to stay away from St James’ Park, rather than doing it off their own backs.