Queen of the South say restarting football ‘financial suicide’ – BBC News

Queen of the South’s Palmerston has been shutdown for several weeks

Restarting Scottish football without cash subsidies for clubs would be “financial suicide”, says Queen of the South chairman Billy Hewitson.

The game will be permitted to return in phase two of the Scottish government’s easing on lockdown restrictions, which could be about 18 June.

The SPFL is to ask if clubs can train from 10 June, but Hewitson has queried how players’ wages would be funded.

“We would be looking at running the club on 30% of our income,” he said.

“So it’s a dilemma for us. Could we start up again and train for eight weeks with a view to start playing in August?

“The Premiership clubs could just about do it but it’s not clear for other teams.”

All of Queens’ staff, including management and players, have been furloughed and the club is shut entirely.

Hewitson is keen that the Scottish Championship side resume playing, but says closed-doors games would need to be subsidised by the government or football authorities.

“If there is no financial model in place, then playing games without supporters would be financial suicide for clubs like Queen of the South,” he added.

“For us, the biggest expenditure is players’ wages and you have to have revenue that covers that expenditure.

“Could we play half a season? It would be a lot less risky as you could hold off signing players, but for me the ideal situation would be for the Government to underwrite the season and we can start immediately.”

The 10 Championship clubs – including Hearts – held a video conference on Wednesday.

The cost of testing players for Covid-19 was also raised, with clubs facing a potential weekly bill of around £4,500. That is based on testing 30 players, officials and other staff three times a week at a cost of £50 a test.

And Hewitson said the second-tier sides will set out “their own road map of how they see a return to playing” in the next couple of weeks, with five or six potential scenarios.

“We need to stick together and come to a collective agreement and a proposal to present to the SPFL board,” he said.

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