Football

EFL chairman Rick Parry backed by players in call for government support


English Football League chairman Rick Parry has been backed by Leyton Orient captain Jobi McAnuff following his forceful letter to the Government to provide support.

McAnuff has revealed how players have been hit hard by the ongoing absence of fans at stadiums.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s administration were accused of snubbing football clubs throughout the ongoing coronavirus pandemic with the warning that unless a financial rescue package is provided, clubs will go to the wall.

With no fans at games in the UK since March, the prolonged loss of gate receipts has hit clubs hard, with McAnuff adamant the players are feeling the effect too.

“Of course all this can have a direct impact on the playing squad,” McAnuff told Sky Sports.

Rick Parry is spearheading Project Big Picture alongside Liverpool owner John W Henry

(Rex)

“Of course it has an impact, it affects when we travel to and from games, and many other things. It affects the atmosphere.

“We’re desperate to get fans back in, safely of course.

“But if that’s not going to happen we’re going to need some funding from somewhere.”

EFL boss Parry has written to Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden to detail the major cash crisis faced due to the effects of Covid-19 and matches being played behind closed doors since March.

The Government insists no fans will return to stadiums this year, with pilot events halted due to a second wave of coronavirus cases.

The EFL has negotiated with the Premier League over a bailout, but no deal has yet been struck.

Parry warned the Government fans “will never forgive” them if their clubs go out of business, and former Ipswich and Wolves boss Mick McCarthy backed that stance.

McCarthy believes clubs going out of business would devastate local communities, heaping yet more misery on areas already ravaged by the impact of the pandemic.

Asked about Parry’s letter to Government, McCarthy told Sky Sports: “His letter makes sense to me to be quite honest.

“Football certainly needs it (a financial rescue package).

“The devastating effect this has all had, it’s hit the likes of Bury, that area, how it affects people.

“If clubs do go to the wall it will have a real negative effect.”

PA contributed to this report



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