Salford CEO proposes season deferral

Deferring the Super League season is the best option for clubs to survive the financial insecurity that would come with making major adjustments to the calendar, says Salford chief executive Ian Blease (pictured).
Super League clubs will meet today (Monday) to discuss what happens next if, as expected, the Government halts mass gatherings due to the spread of the coronavirus.
That means either playing games behind closed doors or postponing the season for a number of weeks. Blease is adamant that the former would be far more damaging to clubs that need the financial income from home games to survive.
“Deferring games is probably the best option,” Blease told League Express.
“But how long do you defer for? Once you make the decision, how long do you stop playing for?”
Blease admits that he would fear for the future of some clubs outside Super League if they were made to play a string of games in empty stadiums.
“We’re costing around the £70,000 mark for every home game, which is a significant amount,” he said.
“Everyone suffers too. The stadium, the catering company and even people running the car parks and the local pubs.
“There could be people putting the shutters up with the tax man unless they give you a hand. But how do you play catch-up? It’s a very difficult thing to try and sort out.”
Meanwhile, Salford coach Ian Watson admits their extra-curricular homework on former player Jackson Hastings and Bevan French paid off on Friday after the Red Devils defeated Wigan, coming back from a 2-14 half-time deficit to win 18-14.
“We did a bit of extra training focused on Jackson Hastings and Bevan French – we know Jacko inside out,” he said.
“We had a plan to cope with him. I thought Dan Sarginson won us the game with a big tackle on Bevan French at the end. He was superb.”