Chesterfield's manager says he would rather the football season be postponed than play matches behind closed doors- following recent matches elsewhere being affected by the coronavirus outbreak.
Speaking ahead of the Spireites' trip to Dover this weekend, the manager reacted to the news of Coronavirus affecting sporting fixtures across Europe.
He told Peak FM: "It's obviously having an impact and it's obviously becoming a serious concern. I don't think we can underestimate it or take it lightly. We've got to do our bit to try and contain it and we'll be no different to anybody else in trying to do that and hopefully we can get to the bottom if it and get this sorted out."
Asked about the possibility of playing behind closed doors, Pemberton said: "It would be difficult. People have played behind closed doors before for different reasons but I would rather we postpone the season for a period of time.
"We need the revenue which obviously the supporters bring. It's the atmosphere as well. I don't think it would be the same, so for me, I would rather postpone it for a month if that's the case and them carry on and run over into early summer than carry on and play behind closed doors."
You can hear our full pre-match interview with John Pemberton here, featuring comments on their recent win over Chorley, the form of Tom Denton and Jordan Cropper, an update on Shwan Jalal, Charlie Wakefield's loan move to Matlock and a look ahead to the Dover fixture:
Meanwhile, the National League and Chesterfield F.C have released the following advice on Coronavirus:
The latest advice from Government is that there is presently no rationale to close or cancel sporting events, but this may change as the situation evolves.
There is a higher likelihood of severe illness the older you are (not an increased chance of contracting the virus), with those under 25 likely to be unaffected by the disease. However, there is no age-specific guidance at this moment in time.
Sports are asked to keep up to date with and follow Government and Public Health England guidance.
The key issues for hosting a sports event are:
- PHE guidance should be read and followed
- For those travelling to sporting events overseas or returning from overseas to sports events, the Foreign Office’s travel advice should be read and followed
- Promote best practice for hygiene, ensuring cleaning is effective and soaps are provided (and sanitiser where possible)
- Anyone with flu symptoms should avoid the risk of spreading their infection, whatever that infection may be, by staying at home and recovering
- Clubs are advised that if any spectator presents to a club member of staff with possible flu-like symptoms they should be encouraged to leave, return home and call NHS 111 for further advice
- For those hosting sporting events, whatever their size, attendees and participants should stay up to date on the government’s latest advice on how to avoid catching or spreading the virus