SAM Allardyce fears the face of English football could be changed for good by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Expressing his doubts that the Premier League and EFL will be able to complete this season even after FIFA’s indefinite extension, the former Bolton and England boss believes safety concerns will make it impossible for players to return.

"We’d all love for the season to finish, and nobody as much as me,” he told BEIN Sports. "But how can we even think about it?

"We’re lambasting everyone in this country for not doing enough social distancing, there are lockdowns far worse than this in other countries, so how can we think about going back and playing football?

"I can’t see us getting back to playing football until such time as we have a vaccination that clears up this virus.

"That makes life very difficult for everyone to say we want to finish every division and match in this country."

The Bundesliga announced yesterday that it intends to begin competitive football behind closed doors by mid-May, with many of its clubs returning to training in some form this week.

The cost to German clubs playing without fans is thought to total nearly £90m.

Football’s economy has already been significantly damaged by the hiatus but Allardyce believes it could be some time before clubs can operate at the same financial level again.

"The global devastation we’re suffering means that everybody’s income will probably reduce dramatically.

"We’re all feeling the benefit - or have felt the benefit - of subscribers paying to watch Premier League football throughout the world.

"But will that happen again? Will people have the money to say that we can pay that much this month to watch the Premier League?

"I’m not so sure. It may come back eventually when the country turns around, but for the time being, I think there’s going to be a shortage of finance.

"We may all have to adjust for a while before that comes back."