OXFORD United’s managing director hopes a greater drive towards sustainability across football will be one positive to come out of the coronavirus pandemic.

Karl Robinson’s side were due to finish their regular Sky Bet League One season last Sunday, but instead it is more than eight weeks since they last played.

The sudden suspension of competition has been a shock to the system, as income streams dried up overnight.

Several schemes, including putting staff on furlough and advancing money from the Premier League, have helped ease the strain.

Also read: Oxford United boss Karl Robinson proposes three-stage plan on how to end season

But the problem was the industry generally was living beyond its means – United’s situation as tenants at the Kassam Stadium contributes to an operating loss of about £2million a year which needs to be balanced by player sales or board investment.

Niall McWilliams believes the landscape will have changed when football returns and United’s MD predicts, for the short-term at least, the industry will be more prudent.

He said: “I think across football you can see from this it’s highlighted that it’s unsustainable.

“It’s not something we didn’t know already, but maybe it’s woken a few clubs up to the stark reality.

“I think the silver lining is football will be in a different place coming out of this.

“Clubs will have to look at their costs against revenue. I would be surprised if, for example, agents’ fees are as high as they used to be.

“I would be surprised if salaries across the board at clubs, not just the players, were as high.

“I think you will get a bit more sustainability by default, at least in the short term.”

One major issue for clubs in the EFL is how long games will have to be played behind closed doors.

It is expected if the remainder of the campaign can be completed it will be in empty grounds.

But Bradford City have stopped selling season tickets for 2020/21, announcing that club officials had been informed of the growing possibility of fans being unable to attend matches until 2021.

It is understood season ticket sales make up about a fifth of United’s total revenue, but if fans could not attend games for a chunk of the year it would leave a big shortfall.

Unlike Bradford, the U’s have not put theirs on sale.

McWilliams says he has received dozens of emails from supporters asking when they were going to be made available, but the club plan to sit tight until more information is known.

He said: “We don’t know at this stage what we’re selling.

“What we’ve decided to do is just be patient, not panic and see what happens in terms of the health of the nation.

“There would need to be clear guidelines in place so nobody was at risk.

“We’ve just got to wait and see what happens.”