Gerhard Struber believes Barnsley could be playing football again in June, July or August. 

The Reds were due to visit fellow strugglers Stoke City this weekend but that is one of eight matches which has been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.  Barnsley were officially due back in action at Brentford on May 2 – originally the final game of the season – after football was suspended until April 30, but that has now been extended indefinitely.  

Struber told the Chronicle: “My feeling, and I am not an expert, is that we need one more month than April 30. Maybe we can start in June but I think April or the first time in May is too early and there is no chance for football. I think the peak (of the pandemic) is coming in the middle of May, this is what the media reports in Austria tell me.

"After this, we can have more focus on football. Footballers and staff are role models in this situation.  That is our duty and our responsibility. Many people look at what footballers will do in the next few weeks.”

Should the season run beyond June, players’ contracts would need to be extended.  Barnsley goalkeeper Sami Radlinger’s deal is set to expire on June 30 as is full-back Kilian Ludewig’s loan.  Mamadou Thiam, Dani Pinillos and Kenny Dougall are also out of contract.  Struber told the Chronicle: “I think the solution is to extend the contracts but we need a clear plan from UEFA.  But that is not the big problem. The biggest problem is that it needs to be safe to play football again.  “Maybe it needs to be August when we can finish our season.”

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All the leagues below the top four divisions in this country have been cancelled, with some calling for the EFL and Premier League to do the same.  The Reds are seven points adrift of safety at the bottom of the Championship with nine games remaining.  Struber said: “I prefer that we can play on the field and, in nine games, we have the chance to come out of this relegation zone. I trust my boys and believe we can do it. “If the league is cancelled, it is clear that every result has no value.”