There is a chance that the global coronavirus outbreak could soon affect Sheffield United.

As things stand there has been no major disruption to the Premier League because of the potentially deadly illness.

However, in Italy – the European country worst hit by coronavirus so far – all sport has been suspended until at least April 3.

Prior to that, it had already been announced Serie A games would be played behind closed doors.

In France, matches can only take place in front of crowds of no more than 1,000 spectators.

So far, government advice in the UK is for sporting events to continue as normal. But as BBC Sport speculates, with confirmed cases increasing every day, that could soon change.

How could coronavirus affect Sheffield United?

(Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

Of course, in any scenario like this there are far more important things than sport. Yet football is big business and nowhere is that more prominent than in the English top flight.

The likely next step if things are to change is for games to be played behind closed doors. The Blades still have ten more league fixtures – plus an FA Cup quarter-final and potentially two more ties should they progress.

Financial Football News reports that in 2017/18 – United’s first in the Championship in six years – match day revenue increased to £8.7m. That was largely due to the sale of more than 20,000 season tickets.

Official statistics for this season aren’t currently available, but the Sheffield Star says that “well over” 20,000 season tickets were sold once again.

If fans can’t attend games at Bramall Lane because of government policy, they will have to be reimbursed.

Then there is the lost revenue from more than 30,000 supporters not spending money at home matches. The Guardian reports that sporting bodies are unlikely to be compensated by the government in this scenario.

Some clubs may be insured for losing out on income due to a public health epidemic.

The Blades have five more home fixtures before the end of the 2019/20 campaign. Any behind closed doors policies before they are played is likely to hit them hard financially.

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