Real Mallorca will have to play behind closed doors at the weekend. | EFE

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What seemed a remote possibility ten days ago became a reality this morning, when La Liga in Madrid confirmed that the next two rounds of Primera and Segunda fixtures will be played behind CLOSED doors as the global Covid-19 coronavirus continues to sweep across Europe.

That means our much-anticipated game against Barcelona on Saturday night, kick-off 18:30, will go ahead with virtually no spectators in the Son Moix. The only ones allowed in are likely to be media personnel and staff members required for the smooth operation of the match.

It also means the club will take a hefty monetary hit, as around 4,000 tickets will have to be reimbursed, giving Roman and his staff a logistical nightmare in the club offices. Extra inspectors were going to be in place at the turnstiles as people were reported to be trying and gain entry using ?entradas? designated for children.

Despite the ruling citing two rounds of games initially, the ban on spectators will be in place for as long as is deemed necessary by the Government. This unexpected news has come as a huge shock and disappointment to local fans who?ve had this game inked in red on the calendar for months.

It?s also a setback for the players as the vocal backing of our fans has been a huge contribution to our good form in Palma. I don?t suppose many of our team have ever played in a ?ghost-game? in what is bound to be an eerie atmosphere. All we?ll hear now are the players and coaching staff shouting at each other with a few profanities thrown in!

Many fans are likely to head for bar/restaurant outlets which surround the Son Moix area to watch the game on the telly and hopefully to cheer the players as they leave the ground after a memorable victory!

The bottom line is that the safety of all supporters and individuals involved in matches is deemed of paramount importance. Let?s hope all this kerfuffle disappears as quickly as it arrived.

Visca Mallorca!