Montreal Impact president Kevin Gilmore said he believes his club and Major League Soccer will “come out of this stronger,” when addressing COVID-19 in a press conference Friday.
Major League Soccer announced Thursday the league will suspend the season for 30 days and on Friday instituted a moratorium to first-team trainings, reserve teams and academies until Monday.
“I firmly believe that what happened the last couple of days has probably brought more awareness to the situation than anything else,” Gilmore said. “And I think people now are understanding that if professional sports leagues in America are shutting down it's because this is a serious situation.”
And while there are fears of the worldwide pandemic, Gilmore believes normalcy will return before too long.
"I envision a day in the not too distant future where we all move on and we pick up where we left off,” Gilmore said. “So I don’t think that’s going to impact where we see ourselves this season and beyond."
Gilmore said Major League Soccer’s 30-day suspension of games, which was voted on unanimously among the league’s owners, won’t affect stadium hourly employees, because the Impact don’t have a scheduled home game until April 18.
Gilmore also knows there is a financial impact on everyone, but believes the league’s course of action is “in everybody’s best interest.”
"I think it’s tough on the employees, it’s tough on everybody,” Gilmore said. “There’s uncertainty, in terms of the workplace, uncertainty with respect to their own families. We know people don’t just live here. They’ve got families and they’ve got their own concerns. It’s been difficult, but we’ve shared with them that what the league has done and what we are going to do is in everybody’s best interest."