EFL chairman Rick Parry has confessed that he has been encouraged by the fact that the British government has recognised that financial assistance is needed. Parry further admitted that he is optimistic that a solution will be found with the pilot programme to bring fans back into stadiums stopped.
While football has resumed to a certain degree of normalcy, the COVID crisis has caused serious issues for the smaller sides especially in England’s footballing pyramid. It has seen the English Football League (EFL) predict that their 72 clubs could face losses of upto £250 million with that set to become a reality especially after the end of the pilot programme. The programme was looking to set in motion the gradual return of fans into stadiums with seven games played with fans.
However, the programme has been curtailed which will cause serious problems to the lower clubs especially since the outlook of having fans back in the stadium this year is bleak. But despite all that, Rick Parry has revealed that he’s “optimistic that a solution will be found” and has been “encouraged that the government has recognised the need for urgent financial assistance”. Parry, the EFL’s chairman, further added that the league is waiting to see what the government’s roadmap is now.
“Following the successful return of supporters to seven fixtures on Saturday, the EFL is disappointed at yesterday’s decision to suspend plans for the return of fans to matches. Therefore we are deeply frustrated that we will not be able to continue this work and, in doing so, gather the evidence to show that crowds can return safely to football and become an important financial lifeline for our clubs,” Parry said in a statement.
“Therefore, as a matter of urgency we now need to understand what the government’s roadmap is for getting supporters back into stadiums as soon as it is deemed safe to do so. I am encouraged that the government has recognised the need for urgent financial assistance for sport and discussions will continue with DCMS and the Premier League. We remain optimistic that a solution will be found but we should also be very clear that if it is not, then the outlook for many clubs in the period ahead will be very challenging.”