Ongoing concerns over the coronavirus crisis are having a massive impact on many aspects of normal daily life.
With no competitive top flight football in England until at least April 4 these are clearly uncertain times for clubs like Manchester United.
With the UK government implementing an increasing raft of measures to deal with the virus, it could be some time before the Red Devils return to action.
Read on as we take a closer look at the latest state-of-play and some of the key developments involving United.
Three fixtures fall by the wayside
The Premier League and the FA have suspended all fixtures until April 3, while UEFA has also postponed the latest round of matches in the Europa League.
While the intention is to reschedule the games after that date, it is beginning to look increasingly likely that fans will have a long wait and will need to entertain themselves by betting on Belgian songbirds and playing other such innovative online gambling games to pass the time.
United’s visit to Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League last Sunday and their home game against LASK in the Europa League on March 19 were their first two fixtures called off.
The FA Cup quarter-final tie at Norwich City on March 22 has also been cancelled, along with upcoming games for the United’s women’s and youth teams.
Players face battle to stay fit
The club confirmed earlier this week that they had cancelled all training in line with government advice about limiting non-essential travel and gatherings of people.
Some United players have since being pictured undertaking workouts at home, while others have been using the break to grab some much-needed rest and recovery.
Regardless of when football does eventually return, United are clearly going to have some work to do to get the players back up-to-speed.
On the plus side, the enforced break will allow top stars like Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba additional time to recover from their respective injuries.
Temporary contracts a possibility
United had three players whose contracts ran out this summer, but they have already moved to address the situation with one of that trio.
United triggered a clause to extend midfielder Nemanja Matic’s deal by one year following his recent upturn in form.
Timothy Fosu-Mensah and Angel Gomes are also out of contract this summer, although football authorities are considering allowing clubs to offer week-by-week deals due to the current situation.
However, with United in a position where agreeing full-time contracts wouldn’t be a problem it is unlikely that they would take advantage of this special dispensation.
United & coronavirus – the final word
The situation surrounding coronavirus is changing at a rapid rate and that looks set to continue for the foreseeable future.
Given the current set of circumstances it seems highly improbable that United will be returning to action any time soon.