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Locked up: the Aviva Stadium has been closed to sport since the outbreak of the coronavirus

Locked up: the Aviva Stadium has been closed to sport since the outbreak of the coronavirus

©INPHO/Tommy Dickson

Ulster Rugby, First Trust Ulster Senior Cup, Road, Northern Ireland, Ireland, IRFU, Heineken Cup, John Dickson, Dicksondigital,...Wednesday 6th February 2019 | Jonny Petrie Meeting The Media
New Ulster Rugby CEO Jonny Petrie meeting the Media at Kingspan Stadium, Ravenhill Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland. Photo by John Dickson / DICKSONDIGITAL

Ulster Rugby, First Trust Ulster Senior Cup, Road, Northern Ireland, Ireland, IRFU, Heineken Cup, John Dickson, Dicksondigital,...Wednesday 6th February 2019 | Jonny Petrie Meeting The Media New Ulster Rugby CEO Jonny Petrie meeting the Media at Kingspan Stadium, Ravenhill Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland. Photo by John Dickson / DICKSONDIGITAL

Locked up: the Aviva Stadium has been closed to sport since the outbreak of the coronavirus

They say that when buying a sports car, you enjoy it twice - the day you drive it off the lot and the day you can hand the keys off to some other sucker. Everything in between is unnecessary stress.

In the middle of yet another financial crisis, there must be more than a few feeling it's an apt analogy for owning a sports team too.

As ever, rugby is feeling the pinch more than most. A sport which has always taken something of a perverse pride in a lack of any perceived similarity to football - this is not soccer, don't you know? - is surely jealous of at least one aspect of the globe's most popular game. It's viewership.