Prior to the announcement that football fixtures across England will be postponed until Friday 3 April at the earliest, Gerhard Struber spoke of the impact that the Covid-19 outbreak would have at his pre-match press conference.
The Reds were due to play at Queens Park Rangers this weekend, but, following an emergency EFL meeting, a decision was made to suspend fixtures in the interest of the health and wellbeing of players, staff and supporters.
“It’s not a football problem; it’s a big human problem in Europe and also here in the UK and I think, right now, it’s not easy to take the right decision,” began Struber. “I’m happy that it’s not my decision, it’s a decision for experts and I hope that they take the right decision.
“I think safety first; this is a responsibility for me, my team and my staff. When we travel through England, it’s a risk – we have social contact with other groups in service stations and hotels and, right now, it’s not easy and we will see what the next time brings and what is best for us.
“It’s a big health problem right now. We know what is in Italy – it is a big problem and I hope that in England they take the right measure for us. This is the most important thing. When we speak about football in this situation, we look to Italy; this is a small planet.”
One potential avenue being explored was the idea of games being played behind closed doors, but Struber believes this would not have been feasible.
“Football is a sport with fans and supporters in the stadium,” insisted the Austrian. “When we have no chance to bring supporters in the stadium it’s better when we block the games. This is, right now, the big question – what is the best? Football without fans is not my football life and not my impression from football. We need the fans in the stadium; we need our supporters and when they can’t get in the stadium it’s not the right way.”