There are fears fans will not be able to attend English Football League games until January 2021, according to a leaked recording heard by the BBC.
Alex Rodman, Professional Footballers’ Association delegate for Bristol Rovers, was talking to team-mates after a call with clubs, the EFL and PFA.
In the recording, obtained by BBC Points West, Rodman also said the prospect of a 23-team Premier League for next season had been discussed.
Rovers are investigating the leak.
BBC Sport understands no final decisions were made during Wednesday’s call between club, EFL and PFA representatives, when several different ideas were discussed.
The EFL will follow the government’s guidelines before making any decisions on whether or not the 2019-20 season can resume, how the issues of promotion and relegation will be decided if not, and when fans can attend matches.
In the recording, Rodman claims: “We won’t be playing any games with any fans this year, they [the EFL] don’t think so. We’ll be looking at January 2021 [for fans] unless a cure pops up.”
The winger also mentions to team-mates a scenario in which, if the season could not resume, league placings would be decided “on sporting merit”.
Three teams would then be promoted from each EFL division but with no relegations, leading to a 23-team Premier League for 2020-21 and then extra relegation spots in future seasons throughout the pyramid to balance the numbers back out.
The EFL is still understood to want to finish the current campaign if safe to do so.
No elite football fixtures have been held in England since 13 March’s suspension of games across the country because of the coronavirus pandemic.