Colin Lee: Short-term goal for all clubs will be to survive
- Credit: Archant
The Premier League is to return after a three-month shutdown, set to resume on June 17.
There are 92 games remaining, to be played behind closed doors, with all games broadcast live.
Venues have still to be confirmed with matches featuring staggered kick-off times.
The majority of the money generated from the televised games will be used to support Premier League clubs - so where does that leave the EFL clubs financially?
Surely, it's time the PL started to look at helping the EFL clubs, with many on the brink of bankruptcy.
One option would be to address the football pyramid financial structure. As it stands, the top of the game receive the lion's share and the clubs further down the EFL receive amounts which I believe are far too wide apart.
Championship clubs have agreed to fixtures starting on June 20, playing the 108 remaining games behind closed doors which, I believe, is the correct decision.
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I don't agree with the points system as it doesn't take into account home and away or who you are playing. Finishing the season on the pitch is a far fairer option - all be it this creates another financial headache for the EFL clubs as the coronavirus testing alone cost approximately £140,000 per club and staging the games behind closed doors has further financial impact.
Without some kind of help or an alternative solution, it is inevitable that many Football League clubs could go out of business.
The Government and the Premier League need to understand that football clubs at all levels throughout the country are so important to the communities and serve an important part in many people's lives, as I experienced when I came back to TUFC in 2006 when it looked as if the club was heading out of existence.
In these times of crisis there is a need for financial support for football throughout the country or we run the risk of seeing famous named clubs disappear out of the football world.
The Covid-19 crisis has exposed the weak financial position of football clubs, many of whom were already on the edge of bankruptcy.
The loss of match day revenue, corporate income and the sale of season tickets is a major blow which, sadly, some will not be able to survive.
Without matches, the salary costs are too high to make it viable for them to survive even if the existing Government support and furlough scheme continues.
Another area to consider is the extra cost to clubs to take staff and players out of furlough in order to resume training and matches, without match day revenue. If there is no financial support to football clubs then many clubs will almost certainly go into administration.
More communities will suffer and go through the agony of losing their club to the coronavirus crisis and witness a beloved cultural and sporting institution taken from them.
An agreement on a rescue package for clubs in distress needs to be implemented, recognising the short-term requirement for cash and a long-term need for much greater oversight and regulation of the financial affairs of each club perhaps to include the opportunity for supporters and communities to acquire a stake in the clubs? Something has to be done to save clubs from bankruptcy and expulsion from the league and quickly.
Spare a thought for our three local clubs and their owners who, during this uncertain period, have supported their clubs financially not knowing when this will end.
A business plan is impossible with so many uncertainties with Plymouth Argyle and Exeter City not even knowing which League they will be playing in next season.
Decisions on players will be shelved and players need to understand that new contracts will look different from those in the past and in some cases it will become a take it or leave it situation. The short-term goal for all clubs will be to survive.