EFL boss wants £250m Government bailout as Covid-19 threatens lower league clubs

EFL chairman Rick Parry has told the Government that clubs will need up to £250m in handouts to help them survive the season without fans.

And if clubs are not given huge financial help in the coming weeks then the League Two and League One seasons might have to be abandoned.

League clubs have been left stunned following Prime Minister Boris Johnson's decision to scrap pilot plans for supporters to return to games from October 1.

The move was taken following a spike in Covid-19 cases – and the ban could be in place until March at the earliest.

The huge blow has left lower league clubs facing bankruptcy due to a crippling lack of revenue – and Parry has warned it is now 'imperative' the Government rides to the rescue to address the financial challenges facing the game in the grim months ahead.

He said: "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.

"With extended measures introduced, it is imperative that the financial issues facing our clubs are addressed quickly.

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"EFL clubs lost £50m last season as a result of playing matches behind closed doors or curtailing the season – and stand to lose a further £200m in 2020/21 should we be required to play the whole season without supporters in grounds.

"I am encouraged that the Government has recognised the need for urgent financial assistance for sport and discussions will continue with DCMS (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport) 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."

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