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EFL clubs are staring at a crippling £200m shortfall, warns chief

 

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EFL chairman Rick Parry

EFL chairman Rick Parry

EFL chairman Rick Parry

English Football League chairman Rick Parry has warned his clubs face a £200m financial hole by September.

Parry had been called to give evidence to the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee yesterday about the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on sport, and he highlighted the particular difficulties facing the 71 clubs in his competition.

Asked in a worst-case scenario how many clubs might go out of business, Parry said: "That's a difficult one to answer. We are heading for a financial hole of about £200m by the end of September, cash hole, that we will need to fill. Clubs are stacking up creditors as well.

"We have a great deal of uncertainty around next season of course, the great undetermined matter being when we're going to return to play in front of crowds, which for the EFL is absolutely critical.

"We're much more dependent on revenue - and indeed much more dependent on the atmosphere generated by crowds - than the Premier League."

Parry was asked about player wage deferrals and cuts, and the role of the players' union, the PFA.

He said the EFL was on board with the PFA's appointment of financial services firm Deloitte to look at clubs' books to assess if there was genuine need for a club to be deferring wages.

"We all need to share in the pain," Parry said. "We are really having an open-book policy, and we are going to show (the players) how deep the pain is. We are absolutely on board with the Deloitte process."

Parry said the EFL expected three clubs to be promoted from the Championship to the Premier League, or "the lawyers are going to get wealthy".

There have been reports that top-flight clubs want to play out the season with relegation removed, but Parry said it would get "messy" if that happened.

Belfast Telegraph