Richard Buxton: Football's chance to hit reset button
The Beautiful Game can emerge stronger from this hiatus, if authorities can look at the bigger picture
Hitting the reset button previously appeared a step beyond modern football's capabilities.
But the coronavirus pandemic has forced it to finally face up to a day of reckoning.
When normality does finally resume, its key stakeholders must choose between maintaining the status quo and reinvent itself in challenging conditions.
Here are some ways football can redeem itself in a life after Covid-19:
LESS QUANTITY, MORE QUALITY
Fifa president Gianni Infantino is under no illusions that seismic changes will be required in a post-coronavirus era.
On Monday, he advocated reducing squads and hosting fewer tournaments with the caveat that will be "more interesting".
The Swiss administrator's inference is clear: less quantity means better quality.
The belated acknowledgement of governing bodies is a potential step in the right direction.
Uefa has already pushed back Euro 2020 by 12 months while the Champions League and Europa League finals are indefinitely on hold as the world attempts to stop this pandemic.
So, too, are previous plans for new summer club tournaments.
Infantino's clear thinking can ease the game's calendar of congestion.
Clubs need the TV revenue, but broadcasters are enjoying an unhealthy amount of control over elite football.
They pay their money and make their choices. The English Premier League has little other choice but to fall in line with their scheduling demands.
Newcastle United fans face enough difficulties making a 1,110km round trip to Brighton and Hove Albion without it being shunted to a Monday evening for the sole benefit of armchair viewers.
The EPL's fear of incurring financial costs from TV companies if games resume behind closed doors is proof that the medium has now become football's authority. But some balance is sorely needed.
PRIORITISE FANS, NOT PROFITS
If football is supposedly nothing without fans, it has an incredibly odd way of showing it.
Match-going supporters are viewed as essentially glorified cash cows and marketing devices.
Tickets remain extortionately priced, as do three sets of replica strips released each summer by clubs.
Executives often try to play the card of being attuned with their core fan base.
Refusing to price them out would be a start in making those hollow words more believable.
SCALE BACK WHISTLE-STOP TOURS
For overseas supporters, pre-season is the most wonderful time of the year.But the clubs do not necessarily benefit entirely from the experience.
Searing heat and unsuitable pitches often make it difficult for players to break out of second gear in matches.
Last summer alone, this year's 20 EPL clubs racked up a mammoth 244,380km combined in their globe-trotting excursions from Australia to North America and everywhere in between.
Stripping back the whistle-stop tours, at least partially, will allow players to maintain a degree of focus rather than treating them as mere extensions of their summer holidays.