ROY O'Donovan has urged Australian soccer's main stakeholders to unite and ensure the code returns stronger than ever after the coronavirus crisis.
Of all the sporting competitions in Australia forced into suspension by the pandemic, few appear as vulnerable as the A-League.
Crowds and TV ratings have been in decline across the board, the majority of clubs run at a financial loss every season and there is speculation that Foxtel is considering pulling out of its $56-million-a-year broadcasting deal.
But O'Donovan, the Irish veteran whose 15-year professional career included a stint with Sunderland in the English Premier League, has no doubt that that the A-League has a bright future.
He believes the enforced hiatus, while frustrating for players and fans, could yet prove a blessing in disguise for the round-ball code.
"Why not try to make a positive out of a negative?" O'Donovan asked.
"It's looking like everything could be shut down for at least a few months, but that gives everyone a chance to get their ducks in a row for when we come back.
"It's important that when we're allowed to resume playing, we're the best possible product that we can be and that we're striving to get even better. The fans are out there, and we need to be a game that keeps them entertained and excited."
O'Donovan said if "everyone is pulling in the same direction", soccer can emerge stronger collectively from this unprecedented time.
"It's very important that we don't have any civil war within our game, or people looking after their own interests," he said.
"We need the FFA, the PFA, the federations and the players working together for the betterment of Australian football.
"There can be no politics right now. It just needs to be about getting the game that we all love back in the best possible shape.
"Innovation is key here.
"Hopefully the game can use this as an opportunity to grow, and when we come out the other side, we're all in a better place."
With almost two million registered players across Australia, soccer's participation numbers are the envy of every rival sport, but at a professional level it faces fierce competition from AFL, the two rugby codes, cricket and the re-emergence of basketball.
"There's no reason why we can't be a thriving code, with full stadiums and higher viewership numbers," O'Donovan said.
"It's the world game, the most popular game in the world, and hugely popular in Australia.
"It might need a few tweaks, but I really see this as an opportunity for positive change. If everyone works together, good things can happen."
O'Donovan and his Newcastle Jets teammates were stood down without pay last week, as was the case at most A-League clubs.
"It is what it is," O'Donovan said. "It's not ideal, obviously, but if we're not playing the club doesn't get the TV revenue, and that puts all the clubs under financial pressure.
"It's understandable and we did have an inkling it was coming."
The 34-year-old striker, who has scored three goals in seven games since re-joining the Jets from Brisbane Roar in January, has been training in isolation for the past two weeks.
"We're keeping fit, we're keeping sharp, so that we're ready to go when they say it's safe to resume," he said.