O’s chairman Travis backed the decision to delay games with coronavirus outbreak

Leyton Orient chairman Nigel Travis (centre) alongside son and club director David (left) and joint-

Leyton Orient chairman Nigel Travis (centre) alongside son and club director David (left) and joint-owner Kent Teague at Brisbane Road (pic: Simon O'Connor). - Credit: Archant

Leyton Orient chairman Nigel Travis insists it was the right decision by the English Football League to postpone fixtures due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The Football Association, the Premier League, the English Football League, FA Women's Super League and FA Women's Championship have all agreed to call a halt to competitive action with immediate effect until April.

Government advice on mass gatherings in England and Wales had not changed despite the decision on Thursday to move into the 'delay' phase in tackling the virus, but the spread of the illness among competitors has forced the hand of organisers.

'The EFL have done an excellent job communicating with us, they've kept us ahead of what's going on all the way through the process,' Travis said.

'We as a club have been anticipating this for some time, we looked at various scenarios, and we actually heard something at about 4am my time so about 8am.

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'We anticipated it and it meant our team didn't have to travel up to Bradford, so that was good timing, and we think they made exactly the right decision.

'We need to have a delay and try tackling this virus, so we're very supportive, but it's very important that there are going to be severe financial consequences for all clubs and all levels.'

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The O's chairman did reveal he felt they may be able to stream games, which would have helped them financially, but believes after the new breaking of Premier League manager Mikel Arteta being tested positive it was correct to postpone all fixtures.

'We may be more fortunate that others as we have a very good streaming operation and we thought for some weeks that we were going to be able to stream our games and we have extensive streaming revenue from overseas.

'It's a very profitable operation, we expected them to release the restrictions on a Saturday, so we could stream the games.

'Given what has happened recently, particularly with the NBA player that was found to have the virus, and then Arteta the Arsenal manager, I think they made the right decision to postpone it.

'We lose the gate receipts and we're expected if the games don't take place to refund to season ticket holders and others that have bought tickets the money that they've paid.

'It certainly puts clubs into a deep bind, but we've had a fairly long cash discussion, as clubs tend to have a very long difficult time with cash in May and June as the season not from a playing point of view but a budget point of view goes until the end of May.'

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