FA warns clubs and leagues are in danger of going under due to the shutdown of the English football season, many clubs feeling the pinch.
The organisation’s chairman, Greg Clarke, suggested in a statement that football players, club owners and fans must all share the financial pain of the coronavirus pandemic.
Premier League clubs Newcastle, Norwich, Bournemouth and Tottenham have placed staff on furlough, while Burnley warned they could go bust as they face losing around £50m if the season does not resume.
Many clubs across the EFL have already furloughed the majority of their non-playing staff whilst Steps 1 and 2 of non league is seeing a mix of
In a statement on Tuesday, Clarke said: “Football faces economic challenges beyond the wildest imagination of those who run it. The pandemic will be followed by its economic consequences and all business sectors will suffer.
“We face the danger of losing clubs and leagues as finances collapse. Many communities could lose the clubs at their heart with little chance of resurrection.
“In the face of this unprecedented adversity, all the stakeholders within the game from players, fans, clubs, owners and administrators need to step up and share the pain to keep the game alive.
“Everyone should understand that the Premier League clubs are not immune from the impact of this and whilst they are impacted to different degrees depending on their cost base, the potential overall financial impact is huge.
“We must have a plan to ensure that English football is not decimated should this season be lost and next season blighted.
“We hope we do not need this plan as we are all determined to finish the professional football season, however we would be fools not to develop such a contingency plan. Those that lost their clubs because English football did not rise to the challenge would rightly judge us harshly.
“Time is pressing as football burns through its cash reserves with no sign yet of a resumption of the game. Pointing fingers serves no purpose.
“It is time for the stakeholders to agree common cause to save our game. Contribute. Football is a team game and now is the time for teamwork.
“The FA looks forward to working with all football stakeholders to safeguard the future of our game.”
‘Football is a team game – and now is the time for teamwork’
Read Greg Clarke’s address to our council from their meeting earlier today: https://t.co/R8ya4JerHx
— The FA (@FA) April 7, 2020
Clarke admits the 2019/20 season could not finish, although the aim of the FA is to resolve promotion, relegation and title winners on merit.
He continued: “No one knows how long the lockdown will last and what social distancing measures will endure even when the daily rate of infection is much reduced. Our government is rightly cautious as human life is at stake and prudence is our only sensible option.
“We are committed to finishing the professional football season as this resolves the issues of promotion and relegation together with title winners on merit. However, we may not be able to finish the season as football is not our priority, human life is, and we will do as the government directs as the pandemic unfolds.
“Further down the football pyramid, our Leagues have requested that the season is curtailed and that decision rests with the FA Council.”