Derek McInnes accepts there is a possibility Aberdeen’s final games of the season could be called off or played behind closed doors because of coronavirus.
SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster has warned there could be “dire financial consequences” if matches are called off and urged first-team players and staff to “be extremely vigilant”.
All Serie A games in Italy are being played behind closed doors until April 3, while Danish football took the same action yesterday after the country banned all events that involved gatherings of more than 1,000 people for the rest of March.
The Dons have potentially 11 games remaining this season, should they reach the Scottish Cup final, but McInnes is concerned the run-in could be impacted if measures are taken to control the spread of the disease.
There was a sign outside Aberdeen’s training facility Cormack Park yesterday urging any visitors from 16 countries severely affected by coronavirus to report to the club’s HR team before being able to enter.
Dons boss McInnes said: “We’re just following advice from the government and the SFA.
“We’re all aware that this is a community training facility, not just the professional element where you can maybe control it.
“At the front end of the building, there are umpteen members of the public come in every day, hundreds.
“We’re just trying to do all we’re can as we’re sure most businesses, factories and workplaces are doing up and down the country are trying to make people more aware of it.
“We understand that all it takes is one player or member of staff to go down and it’s going to have real implications for fulfilling fixture lists and all the rest of it.
“We don’t want to get to that stage.
“It’s been going on now for a few weeks and people were thinking that it’s maybe going on elsewhere, but before you know it, it’s becoming more of a reality.
“We’ve got to do all we can to not get to a stage where we’re having to miss games or fans can’t get in to watch their team play. We’re just trying to be more aware. The players have got an international break coming up and they have a few days off, but we’re wanting to make sure that nobody is really travelling outwith the country unnecessarily. We’re trying to contain and be as smart as possible.
“Sometimes you think ‘is it just happening elsewhere? Is it just scaremongering? Is it the media driving it?’
“But it is clearly a distinct possibility (that matches might be postponed). That would be a real shame if it affects the league campaign. We’re all grasping that now.”
The Dons, meanwhile, will look to end a four-game losing streak this afternoon when Hibernian visit Pittodrie.
The Easter Road side will also be looking for a positive result after suffering a 3-1 defeat against city rivals Hearts on Tuesday.
McInnes added: “Any time that you take a sore one in a high profile game or against your local rivals, some of the criticism can hurt quite deep. That would have been a blow for them, but it can happen. Whether they’d won the game or not, we know we’re in for a tough game.”