Chief of Leeds United's fellow Championship club needs reassurance over concerns to back season completion

Luton Town chief executive Gary Sweet says his club only want to play the final games of the season if commitments are made over coronavirus testing and safety concerns.
CONCERNS: Luton Town have concerns over a return to action and without reassurance would not want to play any more 2019/20 games.CONCERNS: Luton Town have concerns over a return to action and without reassurance would not want to play any more 2019/20 games.
CONCERNS: Luton Town have concerns over a return to action and without reassurance would not want to play any more 2019/20 games.

Speaking on The Price of Football Podcast, Sweet said the show must go on, but he wants assurances that a return to action will not put extra strain on the NHS or deprive the health care system of testing kits.

The EFL have confirmed they are taking part in government talks, alongside other major sporting bodies, to discuss the possibility of a return for live sport.

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Fixtures would be behind closed doors and the game's authorities have said testing for players and anyone involved would be key.

Sweet says the presence of any form of risk for those taking part would make the cancellation of the Championship season the right thing to do, both morally and ethically.

"We find ourselves as chief execs of football clubs effectively acting like politicians at the moment," said Sweet, speaking with football finance lecturer Kieran Maguire.

"The government will have a massive great big dial in front of it and as soon as we come out of lockdown, they'll need to switch that dial between survival, the economy, of the country and the public health, the safety of the nation. That is something that will constantly go on. We're in the same position really.

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"From a moral, ethical point of view it's right to cancel the season, probably, whilst there is any safety risk on those taking part or if there is n increased resource on the NHS, these are the key things that would concern me."

Sweet has written to the EFL with his concerns, but adds that if reassurances were given then he sees no other obstacles to the resumption of the 2019/20 season.

"I have written to the Football League to make my point on that, actually as a club we really do not want to play games, we don't want to take part in the remainder of the season unless we've got some form of comfort that we're not taking testing kits away from the NHS, we're not putting a further burden on the NHS by playing games behind closed doors," he said.

"If we've got some element of comfort on that, particularly if we're playing at Kenilworth Road then I see no reason why we can't continue - the show must go on.

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"The further down the pyramid you go there's more of an argument to say the season could and should be cancelled. I haven't taken part in those League One or League debates but I would probably err on the side of cancellation. I think I flip over to let's keep the show on the road in the Championship as long as we possibly can as long as those safety issues have been dealt with."

The Hatters chief executive also said the playing of games in a small number of 'neutral' venues was 'more than acceptable' because those designated grounds could be secured environments from a testing and hygiene point of view and broadcasting could ensure fans still get to see the action.

"I'm all in favour of putting the remaining Championship games into two or three venues, securing those," he said.

"We love a live game but this is one of those times where you have to switch completely to a broadcast environment where we can set 16 camera positions up, get your LED boards around, still sell advertising, look at areas where we can bring in as much income as possible to cover those losses we're going to make."