Carlisle United admit it is a “big concern” if clubs face the nightmare scenario of postponed games being shelved altogether.

The Blues and fellow clubs are facing up to at least three weeks without matches after the collective decision was made to suspend football in the EFL and Premier League amid the coronavirus crisis.

United are in the early stages of weighing up the potential financial implications of the situation.

While games could provisionally resume on April 4, there is scepticism in the game about whether that will happen as the virus outbreak continues.

Carlisle chief executive Nigel Clibbens said it was wrong to speculate about a quickly-changing situation.

He admitted, though, that clubs like United would be hit by the loss of ticket money, with clubs having also been asked to suspend commercial activity.

Speaking about the financial ramifications, Clibbens said: “It depends on what happens as a result of the games not taking place.

“In the short term, we have the cash impact in terms of not having cash coming into our tills. If [games eventually are played] that should happen, although it might be less in terms of Saturday crowds being less than on Tuesdays.

“What happens if games don’t ever take place is the great unknown and a big concern to everybody within the EFL. It is a matter lots of clubs have been thinking about.

“Everybody knows EFL clubs [like] Carlisle United are reliant on ticket money and funder money. If ticket money drops, there’s a gap to fill, wages still have to be paid, and it’s a major concern. That’s why we have to see where this pans out in the future.”

United said their main financial backers Edinburgh Woollen Mill had been kept up to date about the developing situation “every step of the way”. The News & Star has invited EWM to comment.

Clibbens said nobody at United had yet shown any symptoms of Covid-19 nor had anyone at the club been tested. He admitted, though, that this was likely to be the case at some stage.

In a club interview he said: “That can change very quickly. The more people have this, the more chance it’s going to visit our door. It’s inevitable that happens over the next few weeks and we’ll have to deal with that.”

Initially, United’s next four games – against Grimsby, Northampton, Leyton Orient and Macclesfield – have been suspended.

That has seen the club shelve all promotional work around the #GoodVibrations offer which had been aiming towards a big crowd for the Orient game next Saturday.

United’s ticket office has been closed for the foreseeable future while the Blues Store is likely to operate with reduced opening hours.

Head coach Chris Beech is also weighing up how his players should continue training given the lack of games in the immediate future and the uncertainty over when football will resume.

United had been due to travel to Grimsby yesterday ahead of this afternoon's scheduled game.

Clibbens said he spoke to Beech about the “practical realities” of the situation yesterday morning, with the advice from the EFL that it was down to the discretion of clubs about how they train.

Clibbens said: “Chris’s view was that it is a tough balance – you can’t turn fitness on and off and there has to be a degree of continuity.

“How that works something Chris is thinking about and the club will support him.”

United’s youth team and academy games have also been suspended in line with the joint statements issued by the EFL, Premier League and Football Association.

In terms of tickets already sold for games, Carlisle’s current position is to treat these games as if they were “weather-postponed” matches, with tickets eligible for the rearranged fixtures and refunds will also be available as normal. They add there is no impact on season-ticket holders as things stand.

The levels of insurance cover for clubs like Carlisle for this situation have not yet been commented on by the Blues. The chief executive of League One club Rochdale suggested they were not insured for the virus, adding that the immediate loss of games would hit them to the tune of about £250,000.

United added that they are currently operating with a skeleton staff at Brunton Park, having advised employees to work from home where possible, while community visits by players and staff have been cancelled.

Football’s combined decision to postpone games did not extend to certain levels of non-league, with some National League and Northern Premier games taking place today.

Of the suspension in the EFL and Premier League, Clibbens said: “I’m pleased this decision has been made. It hasn’t been driven by attempts to look at supporters, it’s been more about the players. But I’m pleased this has happened, I think it’s the right thing to do.”

He said Carlisle had been in regular contact with the game’s authorities and added that United will continue to “plan and look at the ramifications” behind the scenes.

He also questioned whether there could be any confidence of games resuming as quickly as hoped.

Clibbens said: “The chief medical officer on TV mentioned it could be up to 14 weeks before it gets to a peak, then you have the period after when you come down the other side.

“This issue is going to be long term; it looks like it will get worse continually for a couple of months at least and that means if, as we sit here now, we can’t hold football matches, how it will pan out when it’s worse in two months is a big issue and concern.

“There are big implications, but we have got to do the right thing by players and staff alike. We’ve only got one chance at this.”

The director added that there will be a further EFL meeting next week.

The Football Association, meanwhile, said that, despite the postponement of games until April 4, "all parties are committed at this time to trying to complete this season’s domestic fixture programme and are liaising to establish appropriate options to do so."

The Northern League last night confirmed it was suspending games until the same weekend in April, meaning Penrith's game at Guisborough today is off along with Carlisle City's trip to Sunderland Westend.

Title-chasing Workington, though, will go to Tadcaster today in the Northern Premier with that league's games still on.

National League fixtures are also going ahead although Barrow's game against Wrexham has been postponed after a player for the Welsh club went into self-isolation.

Ian Evatt, manager of the Cumbrian league leaders, said on Twitter that he ws "shocked" by the league's decision to continue playing. "This is not a time for sport this is a time to stick together and protect your loved ones, football will come again. Stay safe everyone."

At grassroots level locally, the Cumberland FA announced that the Cumberland County League, Egremony & District Sunday League and Workington & District Sunday League games were all off, as well as the under-16 girls' county cup (women and youth).