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The end of football as we know it?


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https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/54322650

Football is now at risk of "the collapse of the national league structure that we have known for over 100 years", the government has been warned.

A group of prominent figures has written a joint letter urging ministers to help with a coronavirus crisis rescue package.

Signatories include former Football Association chairmen Greg Dyke and Lord Triesman, Sunderland shareholder Charlie Methven and broadcaster Robbie Savage.

They say many EFL and National League clubs are now preparing to "cease playing... and put their business into administration".

"We would ask that the government now make clear what financial support it's prepared to give before it is too late," the group writes.

"In order for clubs to sustain themselves over the winter and keep playing, they would need to be compensated for the loss of match ticket sales.

"There is still time to act, but not long left."

 

Sports have been told to prepare for several more months without gate receipts after plans for some fans to return to grounds from 1 October were scrapped last week because of the rising number of coronavirus cases.

EFL chairman Rick Parry told BBC Radio 5 Live on Saturday that some clubs "are on the brink".

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden told the BBC on Sunday he was "hopeful" the Premier League would confirm it would help lower-league clubs this week.

But the government has now been told it cannot rely on the top flight, and must also provide emergency funding to cover clubs' loss of matchday revenue.

"The absence of this income is not a result of their actions, but the policies that have been put in place by the government," the group writes.

"It cannot be the Premier League's sole responsibility to sort out issues arising from government policy.

"The government itself needs to take responsibility or many already embattled towns - often in areas of the country which have suffered many hardships in recent decades - will lose their last focal point."

Sent to both Dowden and the Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston, the letter is also endorsed by chair of the Football Supporters' Association Malcolm Clarke, Damian Collins - former chairman of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee - and a number of other MPs.

"Without any plans being made to rescue football clubs, many in the EFL and others in the National League as well, are now actively preparing to make all but essential staff redundant, cease playing, close down their youth academies and community foundations, and put their business into administration," Dowden and Huddleston are told.

"This could lead not only to the failure of many historic community clubs, but the collapse of the national league structure that we have known for over 100 years."

"These are decisions that will be made in the coming weeks, with many clubs unable to meet their payroll obligations for next month."

The group refers to the £1.5bn bailout that the government gave to arts and cultural organisations in July.

"We believe that football, like other well-loved professional sports in this country, is also a cultural activity," the signatories add.

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"The absence of this income is not a result of their actions, but the policies that have been put in place by the government," the group writes.

"It cannot be the Premier League's sole responsibility to sort out issues arising from government policy.

"The government itself needs to take responsibility or many already embattled towns - often in areas of the country which have suffered many hardships in recent decades - will lose their last focal point."
 

I completely agree.  If the government refuse to help, call them out and then hope the FA or PL help.

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21 minutes ago, CyderInACan said:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/54322650

Football is now at risk of "the collapse of the national league structure that we have known for over 100 years", the government has been warned.

A group of prominent figures has written a joint letter urging ministers to help with a coronavirus crisis rescue package.

Signatories include former Football Association chairmen Greg Dyke and Lord Triesman, Sunderland shareholder Charlie Methven and broadcaster Robbie Savage.

They say many EFL and National League clubs are now preparing to "cease playing... and put their business into administration".

"We would ask that the government now make clear what financial support it's prepared to give before it is too late," the group writes.

"In order for clubs to sustain themselves over the winter and keep playing, they would need to be compensated for the loss of match ticket sales.

"There is still time to act, but not long left."

 

Sports have been told to prepare for several more months without gate receipts after plans for some fans to return to grounds from 1 October were scrapped last week because of the rising number of coronavirus cases.

EFL chairman Rick Parry told BBC Radio 5 Live on Saturday that some clubs "are on the brink".

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden told the BBC on Sunday he was "hopeful" the Premier League would confirm it would help lower-league clubs this week.

But the government has now been told it cannot rely on the top flight, and must also provide emergency funding to cover clubs' loss of matchday revenue.

"The absence of this income is not a result of their actions, but the policies that have been put in place by the government," the group writes.

"It cannot be the Premier League's sole responsibility to sort out issues arising from government policy.

"The government itself needs to take responsibility or many already embattled towns - often in areas of the country which have suffered many hardships in recent decades - will lose their last focal point."

Sent to both Dowden and the Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston, the letter is also endorsed by chair of the Football Supporters' Association Malcolm Clarke, Damian Collins - former chairman of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee - and a number of other MPs.

"Without any plans being made to rescue football clubs, many in the EFL and others in the National League as well, are now actively preparing to make all but essential staff redundant, cease playing, close down their youth academies and community foundations, and put their business into administration," Dowden and Huddleston are told.

"This could lead not only to the failure of many historic community clubs, but the collapse of the national league structure that we have known for over 100 years."

"These are decisions that will be made in the coming weeks, with many clubs unable to meet their payroll obligations for next month."

The group refers to the £1.5bn bailout that the government gave to arts and cultural organisations in July.

"We believe that football, like other well-loved professional sports in this country, is also a cultural activity," the signatories add.

Only right that our national sport should be assisted; if they are prepared to assist "arts and cultural organisations", which probably don't have the audience that football does.

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It should not be down to the Premier League clubs to pay the Non League clubs out, we wouldn't expect City to do it. It is right that the Government help conserve the national sport of this country as our League system is the best in the World and is important among so many communities across the Country.

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This is going to be a turbulent time for all clubs and there's going to be multiple casualties. Can't see the government bailing out football clubs precisely for the reasons stated earlier about funding the wages of footballers, who even at the lower levels can be paid thousands. Those teams that emerge strongest will be those with benefactors - in it for the long haul- who are prepared to wear some losses in the next year or two. Can't see also how financial fair play rules can apply to this (and last) season.

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20 minutes ago, 2015 said:

It should not be down to the Premier League clubs to pay the Non League clubs out, we wouldn't expect City to do it. It is right that the Government help conserve the national sport of this country as our League system is the best in the World and is important among so many communities across the Country.

It sits comfortably with you that Man U are bidding close to 100 Million on Sancho, Chelsea have spent>200M on players - Bales salary is hundreds of thousands of pounds etc etc etc, yet they cant fund a survival package for the national game ? It would be a PR disaster for the PL if they sat back and did nothing. The taxpayer is a line of last resort - the game needs to step up.

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3 minutes ago, Scrumpylegs said:

Those teams that emerge strongest will be those with benefactors - in it for the long haul- who are prepared to wear some losses in the next year or two. Can't see also how financial fair play rules can apply to this (and last) season.

Yes - you'd have to say that we are hopefully in a particularly strong position with our ownership

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1 minute ago, TonyTonyTony said:

It sits comfortably with you that Man U are bidding close to 100 Million on Sancho, Chelsea have spent>200M on players - Bales salary is hundreds of thousands of pounds etc etc etc, yet they cant fund a survival package for the national game ? It would be a PR disaster for the PL if they sat back and did nothing. The taxpayer is a line of last resort - the game needs to step up.

I personally feel that clubs should be able to do it but it also isn't right that they are told to do it either, comes across as acting like spoilt children, I agree, that those rich clubs should help out, but telling them they should isn't the right way to go about it.
The money at the top has got silly, the gap gets wider year after year and sadly as millions pay to watch sky tv and bt sport, it will only get worse.
Young people do not find National League clubs trendy and are being commercially out muscled even by the likes of Championship clubs. Football reflects society in my opinion, there are many footballers in the premier league that are more obsessed with their own image than the game itself. Just walk around Bristol and you will see the Man U, Liverpool, Arsenal tops everywhere you go, these people are the part of the reasons why Man U pay 100 million on Sancho.
Going to watch Bath City on a Tuesday night does not appeal to many, but watching Liverpool vs Arsenal at 8:15 on a Monday night on sky sports appeals, that isn't the clubs fault, it's how the world has changed, sadly.
The irony of thousands yesterday marvelling at the fact Jamie Vardy scored a hat trick at Man City do not realise that would not have been possible without the strong Non league system that we have.

So yeah, I guess what I'm saying is it is the responsibility of all involved to help fund the non league, it is not a Football league system without it.
 

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22 minutes ago, Matthew me said:

This is wrong.

People want the government to pay footballers salaries at a time when nurses earn £25k per year. Get a grip. 

It's not tax payers money that should be paying for footballers to play. It should be spent on the NHS and the true hero's of this pandemic 

Why don't they start by asking the wealthy owners to pay!!! Same as they did with virgin and Branson?

Scrap the FFP for a year and let owners fund it!...

Failing that, players have to take a pay cut.

Delay vat returns for a year

Do a deal with sky to broadcast all matches on tele instead of net.

Sell of naming rights, 10 year season tickets, etc etc 

Totally agree. I can't see the government stepping in to fund what is predominantly players wages (an assumption), nor should they. They would only bailout industries that are integral to a functioning economy i.e. banks, transport, healthcare. 

The PL has to step up. The EFL and national leagues are surely the foundation the PL sits on.

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25 minutes ago, Matthew me said:

This is wrong.

People want the government to pay footballers salaries at a time when nurses earn £25k per year. Get a grip. 

It's not tax payers money that should be paying for footballers to play. It should be spent on the NHS and the true hero's of this pandemic 

Why don't they start by asking the wealthy owners to pay!!! Same as they did with virgin and Branson?

Scrap the FFP for a year and let owners fund it!...

Failing that, players have to take a pay cut.

Delay vat returns for a year

Do a deal with sky to broadcast all matches on tele instead of net.

Sell of naming rights, 10 year season tickets, etc etc 

Perhaps tax payer money could stop being given out in £100m plus contracts to companies like Serco and Pestfix who have massive conflict of interests, e,g. Tantamount to money laundering the money to their mates!

You need to consider that any bailout / help is likely to be be for EFL clubs in Lg1/2, who are trying to get their houses in order with the introduction of a wage cap.  Not everyone is earning millions like in the Prem, or very good money in the Championship.

You are narrowing your vision to the players, but aren’t thinking about all the other employees, the whole supply chain of football, the community.

NHS wages is hugely wrong, but that is a different argument.  

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19 minutes ago, TonyTonyTony said:

It sits comfortably with you that Man U are bidding close to 100 Million on Sancho, Chelsea have spent>200M on players - Bales salary is hundreds of thousands of pounds etc etc etc, yet they cant fund a survival package for the national game ? It would be a PR disaster for the PL if they sat back and did nothing. The taxpayer is a line of last resort - the game needs to step up.

I think that we have to accept that the way the premiership is run now is strictly on business lines. They may see the demise of smaller clubs as an opportunity to gain more 'customers' for their 'product' - would KFC bail out Miss Millie's so that Bristol didn't lose the taste for fried chicken - would be the way they would see it!!

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A Sunderland share holder has the nerve to complain & want help? They have been one of the worst run clubs for years!

As I have said before, poorly run clubs shouldn’t be entitled to any help whatsoever! Birmingham are asking for help, having just sold Jude Bellingham for £30m! Why should anyone have to give them money when they should of seen the necessity of what is happening?

Add these clubs to the above, Bolton, Blackpool, Charlton, Sheffield Wednesday, Derby, Wigan and there are lots more clubs out there! Why should these clubs be entitled to handouts because they couldn’t look after themselves properly. These clubs have been living beyond their means for years & even in the Championship, 13 clubs have a wage bill that is at least 100% of their turnover while Readings wage was 226% of their turnover in the last accounts! While some Championship clubs still haven’t handed in their accounts while they continue to figure out how to do some creative accounting AGAIN!

Why should these clubs be entitled to any help? Yes it’s sad that we could lose them but who’s fault is it? No one has forced Bolton or Wigan or Sunderland or any club to pay beyond their means! And maybe this could be enough of a wake up call to our own supporters who constantly insist that SL has no ambition because he won’t sign player x, y or z! While he continues to pump his own millions into the club that he has no ambition for!

It’s time for clubs, owners, players & supporters to wake up because the money fairy seems to of given up!

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Obviously in favour of the government trying to support generally profit making companies who have suffered and would go out of business because of these extreme circumstances. Do football clubs fall into that? Do arts? Rich patrons can help out, charitable donations to keep these non profitable but culturally significant ventures going. Because if they're not culturally significant, then they won't get the money they need. Right?

These rich folks have profited from a low tax system, so now's the time they have the opportunity to be very generous with their spare money. Right? Hey Multi millionaires, it's great that you want to do something, but you don't need to live in that second mansion and have that fleet of fancy cars. So if you REALLY care how about it you put some more money into it? How many clubs can Greg Dyke save by himself if he only put his own money into it?

The second thing is the EFL itself. When people talk about something having systemic issues. It means they want to tear the system down, because if you join the system, you're promoting and benefiting from it. The lower league professional game has systemic issues. And I think it might benefit from being torn down.

We have multiple clubs getting charged for financial breaches every year now, and that's before these problems. Seriously, the EFL do a terrible job with who they let run football clubs. If they did a better job, and the clubs themselves voted for a much stricter FFP regulation, perhaps they'd have been able to survive this, rather than spending millions chasing the dream.

Maybe it's a good thing long term to have 90% of the clubs go bust. So football can fix the insane level of wages % of revenue it pays, and only the owners who can actually afford to do this are allowed to do this rather than having large numbers of clubs continually teetering on the brink, and that's before a worldwide pandemic. It's terrible short term. I know, and it'll hurt a lot of people short term. But football in the lower leagues isn't sustainable and having it crash might benefit it longer term. 

TLDR:

1 Lots of wealthy people signing letters to get the government to pay for something they could do themselves.

2: The EFL cause  a lot of their own problems by not having stricter rules, not enforcing rules, and not actually having fit and proper owners (by which I mean people actually able to afford running a football club and the risks of that) approved.

So the end of football as we know it? Good! Possibly!

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42 minutes ago, Matthew me said:

This is wrong.

People want the government to pay footballers salaries at a time when nurses earn £25k per year. Get a grip. 

It's not tax payers money that should be paying for footballers to play. It should be spent on the NHS and the true hero's of this pandemic 

Why don't they start by asking the wealthy owners to pay!!! Same as they did with virgin and Branson?

Scrap the FFP for a year and let owners fund it!...

Failing that, players have to take a pay cut.

Delay vat returns for a year

Do a deal with sky to broadcast all matches on tele instead of net.

Sell of naming rights, 10 year season tickets, etc etc 

agreed. The pandemic has highlighted the unsustainiabilty of the football industry. It needs to be reformed now, rather than ask for the government to use tax payers money to keep the house of cards standing.  

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17 minutes ago, Davefevs said:

Perhaps tax payer money could stop being given out in £100m plus contracts to companies like Serco and Pestfix who have massive conflict of interests, e,g. Tantamount to money laundering the money to their mates!

You need to consider that any bailout / help is likely to be be for EFL clubs in Lg1/2, who are trying to get their houses in order with the introduction of a wage cap.  Not everyone is earning millions like in the Prem, or very good money in the Championship.

You are narrowing your vision to the players, but aren’t thinking about all the other employees, the whole supply chain of football, the community.

NHS wages is hugely wrong, but that is a different argument.  

The wealthy owners should have to cover the costs of the salaries, not my tax.

If our tax goes to pay a footballers salary, the world has lost the plot. 

We need doctors and nurses, police and fireman, teachers, not footballers needing salary top ups.

The clubs have had 6 months to prepare for this, generate new revenue, or sell off players in advance 

The sort of clubs asking for money are the same clubs spending cash on transfers as we speak!!!

I'll hang my head in shame if the government end up paying for footballers at a time when child poverty is rife, homelessness, and desperate need for NHS funding 

If we lose a few clubs. So be it. I'd sleep easier knowing the most needy in society came first and not a lower league footballer

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If the government and PL do help out the EFL the money needs to be split equally with every side in every division not championship get x, league one get y and league two get z. 

Because I'm just concerned a Derby County or a Reading will get a disproportionate amount compared to a team in a lower league that is being run well but is at risk because they aren't getting fans in. 

I do hope after all of this there's a whole review of how clubs are run because quite a few championship clubs are spending beyond their means to either get to the promised land of money or to even stay in the division because dropping down to league one would be another nail in the coffin. 

It's not just football though, most Gallagher premiership teams have said they won't survive to the new year if fans aren't allowed back. 

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1 hour ago, 2015 said:

It should not be down to the Premier League clubs to pay the Non League clubs out, we wouldn't expect City to do it. It is right that the Government help conserve the national sport of this country as our League system is the best in the World and is important among so many communities across the Country.

Would you say the same about any other business spending outside it's means? Did you want Virgin airlines bailed out?

This is a wake up call to football. Stop spending above your means, and it's not just at the top. There are teams at the bottom step of football paying 100s a week to players.

Based on the other help that's been giving, the government probably should do something to help but football needs to start taking a look at itself.

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I think there should be a 1 to 2% 'tax' on all prem transfers fees. It then goes into a pot that is shared out amongst the lower league teams. Spending by prem teams is approx £1billion per window so that would be £10m to share out, which would be a decent amount for each lower league team.

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1 minute ago, MarcusX said:

Would you say the same about any other business spending outside it's means? Did you want Virgin airlines bailed out?

This is a wake up call to football. Stop spending above your means, and it's not just at the top. There are teams at the bottom step of football paying 100s a week to players.

Based on the other help that's been giving, the government probably should do something to help but football needs to start taking a look at itself.

I think it a bit different as I think Football is part of the community, whereas Virgin airlines isn't and Football effects so many people in this Country that it cannot be ignored.

I did also say it isn't fair to call out the wealthy teams to bail them out, it should be their choice.

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At the end of this month the furlough scheme ends, and even though job support has been announced I suspect that there will soon be a huge increase in redundancies and large numbers of people relying on pretty basic state benefits.

Given this, and when players at our level are earning as much in a week as nurses earn in a year I find it hard to morally justify government support for professional football clubs, even if it jeopardises BCFC’s future.

For how long have we debated ffp, the unsustainability of players wages and that it needs a big club to go bust before something is done? As it happens, it seems that this pandemic will bring maters to  a head and be the straw to break the camels back, but sadly it will not be the overpaid prima donnas that will suffer. No, the clubs that go to the wall will be further down the food chain and it will be players on relatively “normal” wages , and their families, that will suffer, while players at the biggest clubs will continue to enjoy their exaggerated incomes.

P.S. Foden has just been given a new contract increasing his money from “only” £30k per week to £150k per week - it’s good to know that we are all in this together! 

P.P.S. I have no idea how football’s financial issues can be resolved in the current situation. :(

 

 

 

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