Tottenham Hotspur chairman Daniel Levy has said the coronavirus pandemic is "the most serious" challenge he's faced after almost two decades in charge of the club.
It was announced on Friday that all professional football in England would be suspended until at least April 3 in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19.
"We are all facing uncertain times both at work and in our personal lives. I have spent nearly 20 years growing this club and there have been many hurdles along the way – [but] none of this magnitude. The COVID-19 pandemic is the most serious of them all.
"You will have noticed that we have, as a necessity, ceased all fan-facing operations. With such uncertainty we shall all need to work together to ensure the impact of this crisis does not undermine the future stability of the club. This will include working with the wider football industry and its stakeholders to seek to restore the season – but only when it is safe and practical to do so."
Levy acknowledged it was "wholly inappropriate" to discuss the club's accounts at a time when many people and businesses are experiencing financial hardship, but the club was legally required to do so by March 31.
The Evening Standard's Dan Kilpatrick wrote on Wednesday that Spurs were still training as normal but "remain on high alert" amid the pandemic:
Levy—who became Tottenham chairman in February 2001—wrote that the coronavirus threat is "more important than football":
"Our priority is the health and wellbeing of our staff, players, partners, supporters and their families.
"We shall look to come out of this stronger and more resilient than ever. Our hope is that the virus peaks over the coming weeks and that we have a summer to enjoy.
"Please look after yourselves and stay safe and healthy. This is more important than football."
CNN reported there had been more than 218,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide as of Thursday, with at least 8,800 deaths.
It was confirmed on Wednesday that schools in the United Kingdom will close indefinitely and that exams will be cancelled, per Richard Adams and Heather Stewart of the Guardian.
The importance of hygiene has been highlighted in recent months to stop the spread of bacteria. Spurs used Lucas Moura's deciding hat-trick in the second leg of last season's UEFA Champions League semi-final win over Ajax as motivation to take the proper amount of time when washing one's hands:
Tottenham were due to play Premier League rivals West Ham United on Thursday, but each team elected one player to give fans a FIFA 20 equivalent via Twitch on Friday:
Spurs also shared a highlight reel of their best goals of the campaign to keep fans entertained during the enforced hiatus:
The north Londoners were sat eighth in the Premier League and had failed to win in six matches at the time of the suspension.
Tottenham are scheduled to face Sheffield United on April 4 as things stand, though it remains uncertain as to when—or if—the Premier League campaign will resume.