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Motherwell chief: 'Completing 2019-20 season is becoming unrealistic'

Motherwell chief: 'Completing 2019-20 season is becoming unrealistic'
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The club are looking into accessing financial help from the Government.

Motherwell chief executive Alan Burrows feels finishing the season is becoming increasingly unrealistic.

The Scottish Professional Football League is facing an extremely difficult decision over how to proceed once football resumes following the coronavirus lockdown.

Options include using the current league positions to dish out prizes and prize money or playing the final eight games of the Ladbrokes Premiership and embarking on promotion and relegation play-offs. Others believe the campaign should be declared null and void if games cannot be played.

It is unclear when football will resume at Fir Park
It is unclear when football will resume at Fir Park (Jane Barlow/PA)

"There is still a big push by some to have the games played at some point," Burrows told BBC Radio Scotland's Off The Ball.

"Whilst that is still on some people's agenda, I think it's all up for grabs at this point.

"It's on my agenda in the sense that I think it's the right way to handle it, but given the timescales involved, with every day that passes I think it becomes more unrealistic in that sense.

"The contracts issue is one of the key subjects we need to talk about if we are going to play these fixtures at some point. That's the hardest thing to square."

Clubs are facing up to major challenges of paying wages and other costs while their gate money has dried up.

Burrows said: "We are advising the players to keep fit because there still is a chance we might have to play games at some point. The rest of the staff are on lockdown like everybody else.

"Motherwell are OK in the very short term but it would only take a couple of things to change for that not to be the case or for this to drag on for a longer period of time.

"As numerous football clubs have said publicly, the longer this goes the more difficult it becomes for everybody."

Motherwell are looking into accessing financial help from the Government and Burrows is hopeful that will be fruitful.

"I think most football clubs like us would be in that position," he said. "We have our own costs and most of our income lines have dried up.

"In terms of what the chancellor has described in terms of help for businesses, it almost fits football clubs perfectly, because we have so many staff who literally can't do anything and if this continues for a longer period of time, football clubs are going to have to start making difficult decisions.

"That help from the Government will be vital for almost every club including my own, to make sure people's jobs and livelihoods are protected in the short term."

Motherwell received a boost this week when they were allocated an interim SPFL payout of £395,000 plus VAT along with Celtic and Rangers, while other top-flight sides will get £157,500 plus VAT.

Burrows said: "Motherwell, Celtic and Rangers at the minute are the three clubs, if the season was played to a conclusion, would definitely be top six – that is the basis it is split up."

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