Fleetwood Town CEO, Steve Curwood, names which six EFL clubs will go bust without being given some sort of financial help.
The League One club’s chief executive has travelled to Westminster this week to warn MPs and the government about the huge financial issues facing clubs below the Premier League.
With fans still not able to attend matches, since March we should add, and with England about to enter a second lockdown, now Curwood claims eight clubs missed payments in October 2020.
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He said: “The MPs we’ve met are very supportive and understand the plight of the EFL clubs at the moment.
“And I think it’s their job now, and they’re trying desperately to do it, to allow those in the Cabinet and those who can actually pull these triggers, to actually make these things happen.
“There’s only so much everyone can do to just keep banging the drum and tell the Cabinet and the people involved that the football clubs and the EFL clubs at large are in desperate need of money and about to go bust.”
He points out that immediate actions is a must to help those at below top-flight football, at risk of going under, and that any delay could lead to communities losing clubs.
He said: “Not only are there eight clubs who could not pay the wages this month and their tax obligations, [but] that will spiral out of control very quickly
“This is about emergency measures, this is needed now, this isn’t something that can be stored up down the line.
“We have the Government thinking that the Premier League can resolve all of this. It keeps batting this away politically to the Premier League to sort this out.
“The Premier League have got their part to play but they cannot solve everything.
“It’s a dual process and ultimately the government have got to step in now and support football clubs, which will be lost forever if they do not.
“I’m concerned now for Fleetwood Town as well as the rest of the game.
“Clubs such as Fleetwood, Oldham, Rochdale, Mansfield, Grimsby, Hull – these clubs could be lost forever.”
Middlesbrough chairman Steve Gibson has also called for urgent action from the Government and Premier League to save EFL clubs.
Hard to disagree with any of thishttps://t.co/xDTDLRaQX4
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He told Politics Home: “To me, the place to begin with any difficult situation is to identify the problem, and this one is in two parts: the immediate, caused by the virus, and the essential need for structural change to ensure sustainability in football.
“Looking at the EFL in particular, Clubs will lose £250million by the end of the current season, a problem the League is powerless to solve.
“Exploring where we are at the moment, we haven’t lost a club yet, because the Premier League have advanced solidarity payments and we were granted a three-month deferral on PAYE and NIC. These income streams have got us through but have ultimately added to the debt. Now, it’s all about what happens next.
“The current situation cannot be sustainable.
“Government, the Premier League and PFA have a big decision to make, and the question must be this: ‘do we want the current pyramid structure to stay in place?’”
As the Fleetwood CEO states which EFL clubs will go bust without financial help, Gibson is also calling for the Government to extend the PAYE and NIC holiday and to extend the reduction of VAT to 5% for the hospitality industry to football clubs also.
He also wants the Premier League to offer a financial rescue package for all EFL clubs and for the PFA to look at player wages.
Gibson said: “A beacon of light was our pilot event with supporters, which was handled extremely well. Alongside the council, we got it right, and the positive response was phenomenal.
“Supporters miss the anticipation of matchday and the nerves in their stomach – it’s a huge part of their lives.
“We must not underestimate the wider impact this is having locally, because the money spent by the club and fans has dried up; it is affecting local businesses, pubs, taxi drivers, restaurants and cafes.
“It’s a huge part of the economy and I would worry for the businesses and people that have had this taken away from them.
“For many, this is a vital social activity and I remain unsure and confused as to why we can let people inside the Albert Hall but not Old Trafford.”
“Without action, we will lose football Clubs and, without football Clubs, we will lose jobs, both within the industry and through the supply chain,” Gibson continued.
“This is biting at the heart of our communities, and you have to remember the work of the Clubs’ Foundations and charitable trusts within these communities and the impact they have on people’s lives, never more so than at this current time.
“Should the unthinkable happen, all talk of ‘levelling up’ will not be achieved, and towns and cities – particularly in the north of England – will suffer decades of decay.
“In these circumstances, there cannot be an ‘us and them’ scenario – we must be united.
“The solution does not lie with the EFL or Premier League alone.
“We appreciate the challenges faced by Premier League Clubs who also have no crowds and notwithstanding the significant income streams, have planned their own finances on the basis of the matchday income as well.
“It is not in the EFL’s gift alone to save the pyramid.
“If the government, the Premier League, and the PFA’s decision is to save the pyramid, then they must all contribute to the solution sooner rather than later.”
As the Fleetwood CEO names which six EFL clubs will go bust without financial help, have any of teams that he listed surprise you? Can you see the government or Premier League handing more cash to lower league clubs? Let us know in the comments.