Gary Neville: Premier League should lead rescue of EFL clubs
Neville doesn't believe government should be called upon to save football clubs; MP Damian Collins has warned 10 clubs could go bust
Last Updated: 22/05/20 3:09pm
Gary Neville has reiterated a "bailout of football clubs is required" to save lower-league outfits from going bust - but has called on the Premier League rather than the government to lead their financial rescue.
In a stark warning on the worrying situation in the lower leagues, Damian Collins MP, the former Chair of the Commons Select Committee, has warned that up to 10 clubs could go into administration within weeks.
Endorsing that warning, Neville, a co-owner of League Two Salford, told The Football Show: "I said some months ago that unless some funds are put in place then we would start to see severe things happen at some clubs."
However, Neville clarified: "My understanding is that clubs will be ok up until June 30. The real problem will come where clubs rely on season-ticket sales for next season. The real issue will come in July, August and September if this coronavirus crisis persists. The clubs will really suffer at his point. I don't believe it is a crisis for today, I believe it will come in a few months rather than a few weeks."
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But Neville remains adamant that it is the Premier League rather than the government which should source any rescue deals.
"I've always called on the Premier League to solve the crisis in lower leagues. l wouldn't call on the government to do that. I don't believe it's the government's responsibility to save football clubs. The government has far more pressing industries to focus on where millions of jobs are at risk.
"But if the Premier League aren't going to perform and do what l believe is their duty, and the government is happy to do some type of loan-based system, then I would support it in a hesitant manner. If that is the only solution l would take it because l don't want to see clubs going bust.
"I do believe the Premier League has the ability to do this. Football can sort itself out."
Neville: 'Salary cap could be biggest game-changer in 40 years'
Neville also had his say on suggestions that a salary cap could be introduced.
"I think there's a major issue for players developing in terms of the reset in the game," Neville said.
"There are salary cap discussions going on behind the scenes - that's been reported - but it's going to be the biggest game-changer for lower-league players in the last 30, 40 years. No matter what club you are, what crowd or income you have, you'll be restricted to a level you can spend.
"The PFA, I think, are sleepwalking at this moment in time. There is a major reset coming in players' wages at League One and League Two level - and maybe even Championship if it extends there, as I think it may do at some point in the future. Can you argue against it with clubs going bust and in terms of what is happening with the crisis? You can't when you look at it from a sustainability point of view but clubs who want to invest will be prohibited to do so."