NO crowds, no senior football.
That is the overriding view of Ovens and Murray, Hume and Tallangatta and District league clubs in response to last Friday's national cabinet announcement on community sport.
Officials expect the government to cap crowds between 100 and 300 people which is well below the average attendance for matches on the Border and would put a financial strain on clubs to cover player match payments.
"Our mindset is we would be keen to get a season up but not at the cost of damaging clubs," Ovens and Murray general manager Sean Barrett said.
"Is there are no crowds and clubs can't generate an income it makes it very hard to cover the cost of footballs, umpires and all the other match day expenses.
"If we do get a season up, I'd say it would be on the proviso we have crowds."
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A strict step by step process has been flagged by Prime Minister Scott Morrison to ensure the safety of sportspeople and the community.
Differing restrictions in NSW and Victoria could have major implications for the Ovens and Murray and Tallangatta leagues who have clubs in both states.
Tallangatta league president Rex Gray said Friday's announcement would have a huge bearing on whether winter sport starts.
"If you can't sell the food and get gate-takings, it's a waste of time operating," Gray said.
"Every league would need the money.
"Most sporting clubs are flying by a wing and a prayer anyway and, if there's no money coming in it's not worth it."
Hume league president Brendan I'Anson said clubs relied too heavily on gates to have crowds taken away.
"Clubs are suffering enough with sponsorship funds," I'Anson said.
"The feedback I'm getting is most clubs would find it extremely difficult to have senior footy without crowds.
"That's not to say we won't play kids footy without a gate."
Myrtleford coach Jake Sharp said crowds were too important to drop.
"There would be a level of enjoyment because everyone loves playing football but I just don't see that as a sustainable option - particularly for clubs these days and how much it costs to run them in terms of canteens, gate takings and functions," Sharp said.