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Walsall chairman Pomlett calls for urgent support from EFL over coronavirus

EFL clubs have found it increasingly difficult to survive over the years with Bury infamously expelled last season due to financial problems.

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Walsall chairman Leigh Pomlett fears other clubs may go to the wall (Dave Howarth/PA)

Walsall chairman Leigh Pomlett fears other clubs may go to the wall (Dave Howarth/PA)

Walsall chairman Leigh Pomlett fears other clubs may go to the wall (Dave Howarth/PA)

Walsall chairman Leigh Pomlett believes some EFL clubs could face bankruptcy due to coronavirus – and called for more “urgency” from the governing body to provide support.

Football League clubs have found it increasingly difficult to survive over the years with Bury expelled earlier this season due to financial problems.

With the season on hold until next month at the earliest, clubs’ revenue has been cut dramatically.

While Pomlett is optimistic about his own club’s ability to survive, he fears others may go to the wall.

He told the PA news agency: “It wouldn’t surprise me. We all do the same thing, which is play football, but we all do it in different ways in terms of the finances.

“I don’t know, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised. It doesn’t take long for a business to get into a cash spiral decline. When it does, it’s almost impossible to get out of it. So I wouldn’t be surprised and I wouldn’t be complacent about any club.

“Some are in pretty difficult situations as it is. We all know that.”

Pomlett, who took over as majority shareholder of the Saddlers last summer, is eagerly awaiting assistance from the governing bodies for clubs like his.

“I’d be hugely disappointed if there was not support for us from the PFA, the EFL and the Government,” he said. “We, like any other football club, will be looking for that support and waiting for the EFL to show the urgency that we need to keep football clubs running.”

He added: “This has affected us in many ways. But the crucial one is that it’s stopped the in-flow of cash and we’ve still got outgoings.

“It’s going to be a tough conversation with all the staff and players to say ‘do you mind not getting paid until the coronavirus has gone away?’

“It’s not a conversation I particularly want to have, so we’ve got to protect the club from the fact we’ve got cash going out, but don’t have sufficient cash coming in. So we have to manage that balance and will do for a number of weeks yet, I think.”

PA