The Football Association has said the impact of the latest coronavirus measures on the game in England would be “huge” but welcomed the government’s commitment to support the game.

Yesterday, new measures were announced which will see fixtures in the professional game continue to be played behind closed doors, possibly for as long as six months.

The knock-on effect from another long spell without gate receipts prompted Oxford United managing director Niall McWilliams to call for a rescue package for EFL clubs.

“We understand the government’s decision, as the health of the nation is the priority. However, it is important to recognise that the impact on football will be huge,” a statement from the governing body read.

“Clubs up and down the country are really struggling, and many will have been looking forward to crowds coming back in order to provide much-needed income during these difficult times. Many, at all levels of the game, are battling to survive.

“We welcome the Government’s commitment to provide financial support to clubs and will continue to work together on a return of crowds as soon as it’s safe to do so.

“We also welcome the continuation of the grassroots game, and the elite game behind closed doors, to help support the physical and mental wellbeing of millions of players across the country, with outdoor exercise more important now than ever.”

It is understood any Government support would relate to the National League and below.

In the seventh tier and below, spectators can still attend matches provided the venue is Covid-secure.

Comment: Jock Stein was close enough – removing crowds is joyless

The Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), Oliver Dowden, met with representatives from a wide range of sports on Tuesday afternoon to hold further talks on the financial impact of the restrictions.

It is understood DCMS is keen to move quickly to identify areas where there is critical need, but remains of the view that the Premier League should provide support to the EFL.

The EFL says its 72 clubs stand to lose £200million without fans for the entirety of the 2020-21 season, with club chairmen saying on Tuesday they expected clubs to go under without immediate action.

Talks are continuing between the bodies over a possible bailout, but the Premier League has pointed out that the lack of fans is starting to have a “devastating” impact on the finances of its own clubs.