‘If the Government doesn’t intervene now then I lose faith in the game I love’: Gary Neville makes impassioned plea to Parliament to help bail out EFL clubs amid coronavirus cash crisis
- Gary Neville made an impassioned plea for the government to help EFL clubs
- Many lower league sides are in financial crisis due to coronavirus pandemic
- Neville said he’ll ‘lose faith in the game’ if help doesn’t come for struggling clubs
Several of clubs below English football’s top flight are facing severe financial issues due to reduced revenue through fans not being allowed into stadiums in the UK since March, with many facing a struggle to pay staff at the end of October.
The crisis has led for calls for those in charge of the wealthy Premier League clubs to support, but their latest £50m proposal to clubs in League One and Two was rejected by the EFL after no assistance was offered to Championship clubs.
Gary Neville made an impassioned plea to the government to help bail out struggling EFL clubs
A number of Championship clubs are grappling with the looming pay day at the end of October
Calls for the Premier League to help coincided with the revelation of ‘Project Big Six’, a move from the league’s big clubs to increase their decision-making powers in the league whilst also offering financial support to the EFL.
This move was rejected by top flight club’s in a vote and dismissed as a move by the bigger clubs to only offer help to struggling clubs in exchange for more power in the game.
With a satisfactory agreement yet to be reached, Neville called on the UK Government to step in to help the desperate clubs
‘I’ve called for many years for government to intervene’, said Neville on Sky Sports Monday Night Football.
Gary Neville says English football’s richest club can’t be trusted to help reform football
‘I want the game to be looked after more. It’s gonna be a massive challenge. Introduced a private member’s bill in parliament or getting specific government support will be really difficult as they don’t want to get involved. Football. They do get involved in energy, broadcasting.
‘If it doesn’t intervene now at this point, where clubs are on brink of extinction because of a self-interested group of clubs or entities that won’t hand some money down to them without conditions or putting them into debt or further embargoing their transfers, then I lose faith in the game I love.
Sources at a number of Championship clubs have disclosed that they are currently grappling with the looming pay day at the end of the month with some concerned they will be unable to give staff their wages in full, unless help is forthcoming.
Neville, along with eight other people including former FA chief David Bernstein, has been leading a call to for the FA to be independently regulated.
Premier League offered to bail out EFL clubs but the £50m offer was rejected a week ago
The former Manchester United defender said he no longer trusts football to reform itself following the coronavirus pandemic.
‘If the big picture is reshaped in next few weeks and looking after fans, non league, grassroots and FA, EFL clubs to make them sustainable and maintaining PL as best league in world’, Neville added.
‘If football can reform itself and prove can do something it hasn’t done for 30 years, then the eight people in that group would happily fade away. They’re not there for any motive other than try and address the balance and introduce a fairness to English football.’