Harlequins director of rugby Paul Gustard believes the suspension of the Gallagher Premiership could have serious financial implications for a number of teams across the country.

The RFU announced on Monday evening that all rugby activity in England, at both professional and community level will be suspended until 14 April, subject to continued review.

And Gustard believes that calling off the competition will prove a threat to clubs who rely on their home gates for valuable income.

“In small businesses, like rugby clubs, there’s a big risk to sustainability if they lose that income,” said Gustard.

“The only thing for me, as someone involved in the sport, is that the game loses money.

“If we take away one of the club’s biggest sources of revenue there could be ramifications.”

Quins sat seventh in the standings prior to the suspension of the competition, having won five of their 13 matches this campaign.

Gustard’s side also had their Premiership Rugby Cup final clash with Sale Sharks called off on Sunday due to the outbreak, which was scheduled to be played at the AJ Bell Community Stadium.

But Harlequins’ chief executive Laurie Dalrymple was fully understanding of the decision, which will come into effect immediately.

"Whilst naturally there is disappointment that we won’t be able to play our fixtures as planned, the situation is centralised around ultimately the safety of all individuals, inside and outside of the club, which is paramount,” Dalrymple said.

"Discussions with Premiership Rugby and relevant authorities will remain ongoing over the coming days and weeks to ensure we are able to best communicate next steps to supporters.

“We are currently unsure as to what the next stage will be with regards to playing postponed fixtures and the structure of the men’s and women’s seasons. We will update supporters once we are in a position to do so.”