Manchester United chiefs are reportedly planning for football without fans at Old Trafford potentially until 2021 when the sport restarts.
Red Devils bosses fear there will be no mass gatherings allowed until next year when a vaccine may be widely available and are therefore developing a strategy to put on matches without supporters.
Their position is similar to other top clubs who are looking to cope for long spells with no fans at matches in Premier League games.
And in preparing for the worst case scenario, it’s feared that they could be forced to do so beyond February 2021, according to the Mirror.
It’s thought that allowing huge sporting crowds will be one of the last things to return to normal life amid the pandemic, with large gatherings representing a big threat to the Covid-19 crisis spiking again.
United are in a solid position financially but are factoring loss of revenue from an empty Old Trafford into future financial forecasts.
A source told the Mirror: ‘It’s highly likely there will be no spectators allowed at football games for several months until either a vaccine is available or coronavirus is brought under significant control.
Woodward is preparing for the worst case scenario .
‘The prospect of seeing full stadiums at Premier League grounds just isn’t going to happen anytime soon and clubs are aware of that.
‘It would be reckless if clubs didn’t budget for that happening. The realism is that the prospect of crowds returning to football is a long, long way off.’