EFL chief sends warning to Leeds United and others over £50m relief fund, says knock-on effect could last 18 months

Leeds United's season has been suspended until the end of April at least

Sunday, 22nd March 2020, 11:45 am
Leeds United home ground Elland Road. (Image: Getty)

Rick Parry believes the English Football League shouldn't ask for handouts from the Premier League amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The EFL chairman has also said that clubs will need to be flexible over when the current campaign could possibly conclude.

Earlier this week the EFL announced a £50m short-term relief fund for the 71 teams under their governance to help battle a lack of revenue during the ongoing hiatus.

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Football in England has been suspended until April 30 at least with the 2019/20 season postponed indefinitely during the current global health crisis.

Leeds United will receive a remaining £800,000 solidarity payment that Championship clubs are due while second tier sides can also apply for an additional £584,000 interest-free loan.

Sides in League One and Two have also been allocated funds.

Colchester chairman Robbie Cowling, though, has said that the funding made available will be "nowhere near enough" while AFC Wimbledon director Ivor Heller has suggested top flight players should forego 20 per cent of their wage to help those lower down the pyramid.

Parry himself has taken a different view instead believing teams need to take a step back and reassess, telling Radio 5 Live: "I'm not a fan of the begging-bowl culture.

"[Rather than] just looking for handouts, it's better to go with a self-help mentality, saying 'this is what we've done, this is the problem that we find ourselves in, so how can we all help to produce a better future?'

"I think it's much better, in dialogue with the Premier League, to talk about sustainable futures and how we might be able to have a reset going forward.

"We've already been looking at measures to control costs. In the Championship, wages represent 107 per cent of turnover of clubs.

"That is completely and utterly unsustainable in any climate. In this climate, it comes home to roost very quickly when there's no money coming through the door.

"We need to have better cost-control measures. I'm sure we will because, if this doesn't focus minds, frankly, what will."

The EFL has committed to finishing the current campaign, but chief Parry believes that putting any end date on the season right now is "wishful thinking".

“People are starting to realise that there is no rule book for this,” he added.

“There is no manual and we are going to have to be incredibly flexible in terms of how the season pans out because we don’t know whether it is going to be behind closed doors or when it is going to re-commence.

“I think we also need to be mindful of when next season is going to start.

"This one being over in June and the new season starting in August is wishful thinking.

"I think there's going to be a knock-on effect for 18 months so we need a lot of flexibility, a lot of out-of-the-box thinking and now more than any other time, a time for cool heads."