Will there be a delay to next season too?

"Come on, lads! Two metres apart!" (PHOTO: Panthers Images)

I’ll admit, I’m starting to get concerned.

The Covid 19 pandemic has changed the world in how we interact with people, how we go about our daily lives and on a smaller scale, the world of sport.

Early shutdowns to leagues all over the planet has forced them into an unthinkable situation in how they settle season 2019-20 and try to get revenue back they’ve lost as a result of the premature finish.

But as weeks go on and the numbers of cases and, sadly, fatalities, continues to rise, the coronavirus continues to leave its mark.

In the case of sport, we’ve seen some major sporting events cancelled for later in the year, most notably, the Olympic Games, which has been pushed back until July next year.

The European football Championships have done the same, while the likes of Wimbledon has gone and the British Grand Prix and Open golf championship look like going as well.

As a result, we’ve seen the major media outlets showing old sporting occasions in an attempt to quench the thirst for sport and we’ve seen the Elite League clubs doing the same.

But as we creep into the summer, you’re left to wonder if the start of the new season is going to be affected by this virus and whether our usual September start is about to be compromised.

I know we’re technically still in “this season” and would have been anticipating a big weekend of play-off action so word of any signing news this early was unlikely.

However, speaking to a few coaches, they’ve admitted making preparations is difficult for them as the uncertainty over where we’ll be by the time this virus is over continues to bite.

Organisations themselves have effectively shut down during this country-wide lockdown and the extent of daily operations is greatly reduced as staff do their best working from home.

The Elite League’s latest announcement about the Magic 5 Weekend gave plenty of information, but couldn’t provide a date, again, because of the lack of clarity we have over we’ll even be come September.

What’s already a long summer for fans could be even longer if next season is to be delayed (PHOTO: Cardiff Devils)

Which leads me to think we could be later in getting started for 2020-21 and I know it is a conversation the clubs have been having.

It must also cast doubt on the Champions Hockey League as well, with that tournament usually starting at the end of the August.

The draw would usually have taken place during the World Championships, which was another casualty of this situation and the website, while happily announces who’s qualified, gives nothing else in terms of their own plans for the new season.

Sadly, it’s where we are right now and it can only be a matter of time before we start hearing about next season and what’s likely to happen.

For the fans, it’s already a longer summer without any action to look forward to and while the teams are doing great work in trying to fill that void, it could be more bleak news on the horizon going by what’s happening elsewhere.

Let’s hope it’s not going to be as bad in the long run.

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