EFL chief Parry insists halting League One season is ‘absolutely the last resort’
PUBLISHED: 16:59 28 September 2020 | UPDATED: 17:03 28 September 2020
EFL chairman Rick Parry has insisted calling a halt to the League One season is ‘absolutely the last resort’ as football continues to battle with coronavirus.
There is now the real prospect of games being played behind-closed-doors until March due to rising numbers in virus cases, which has delayed a planned return of supporters next month.
Clubs in the third and fourth tiers voted to end the 2019/20 season early due to the impact of the pandemic, with clubs able to utilise the government’s furlough scheme to help pay the wages of players and staff at a time when no money was coming in through ticket revenue.
But, with the new season now three games old, Parry has insisted calling a halt to games is not on the agenda and is worried that, should matches stop, they may never get going again.
“I’m not saying that dialogue isn’t happening within clubs or amongst clubs but, from our perspective, it’s absolutely the last resort,” he told BBC Radio Five Live.
“We need League One and League Two to remain relevant – if we go into hibernation, we might not come out of it, quite frankly.
“League One and League Two matter, they’re the heart of their communities, we need them playing football and coming out of this stronger.”
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Parry has regularly stated clubs in the EFL will need support, either from the government or the Premier League, and continues to work towards a potential package of up to £250million.
He said: “In League One and League Two more than 30% of the revenues come from gate receipts.
“We’ve consistently said we need up to £250m and that was based on the losses of last season and an assumption that we play the whole of this season without crowds.
“Some clubs are on the brink. Some would have been without Covid-19. We have kept nearly all of them intact so far and of course there is a prospect that if we can’t get a package some will go to the wall.
“In a normal year our clubs rely on £440m of owner funding to keep them afloat. That is the size of the losses they make.”
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