The delay to the return of fans to stadiums could have a “significant” impact on women’s football in England, London City Lionesses boss Lisa Fallon has said.
On Tuesday the British government announced that plans to allow a return of spectators to sporting venues on a socially distanced basis next month were being put on hold due to a second wave of coronavirus infections.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson suggested measures being introduced would stay in place for “perhaps six months” and said the government was working on what could be done to support sports clubs.
Regarding women’s football, Fallon – a former coach with Cork City and Dublin's Gaelic footballers – said: “We’re really in uncharted territories here, there’s no doubt about it, and the impact can be significant.
“But we have to just keep going under the guidelines that we’ve got, and obviously, if there is financial support, that helps massively.
“My focus as a manager is to prepare my team. I take my guidance from the government, from the Football Association, from my board, and then as a staff we focus on preparing our team for the game in the best and safest possible way.
“My job is to look after my players and staff, and follow the instructions and trust the guidelines we’re given, and try to keep the games going as long as we can but in the safest possible way.”
Asked specifically about sustainability for Women’s Championship clubs, Fallon – who took charge in May of the Lionesses, the Women’s Championship outfit founded in 2019 via a breakaway from Millwall – said: “My board look after the financial side of the club and I have to trust that they liaise with the FA, but of course it is going to be challenging for clubs when the revenue streams are negated.
“It is going to be much more difficult to sustain things, and any funding that does come to help clubs will be greatly appreciated, and probably definitely needed.”
The Lionesses, who play home matches at Dartford’s Princes Park, finished fourth in the 2019-20 Championship table after the season was brought to a premature end due to the pandemic.
So far this season, under Fallon, they have been beaten 4-1 at home by Sheffield United and then drawn 1-1 at Crystal Palace.