Premier League clubs should offer support to EFL during pandemic, says Frank Lampard

Peterborough owner Darragh MacAnthony says government's decision to halt plans for supporters to return to stadiums is "devastating"

Frank Lampard
Image: Chelsea paid for Wednesday's opponents Barnsley to undergo coronavirus tests before their game

Frank Lampard says it is important for the Premier League to support EFL clubs financially as some continue to struggle during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Premier League and EFL are in talks regarding a support package after Rick Parry, chairman of the EFL, warned that Championship, League One and League Two clubs will lose a combined £200m if the 2020/21 season takes place entirely behind closed doors.

Staff spray match balls with disinfectant prior to kick-off 1:57
Geraint Hughes provides an update on the government's plans to help sports after fans were prevented from starting to return to events

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Leyton Orient owner Nigel Travis told Sky Sports News that scenario would lead to some clubs going bankrupt and added to the calls for EFL clubs to receive help.

EFL sides suffered a further blow on Tuesday due to the government's latest measures aimed at tackling the spread of coronavirus, which prevent supporters from attending matches. Clubs had planned to admit some fans from October 1.

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In light of the circumstances, Chelsea head coach Lampard - whose side paid for Championship club Barnsley to be tested for coronavirus ahead of their Carabao Cup game at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday - said: "I think it's important that the Premier League as a collective looks at supporting the EFL, the leagues below and grassroots football, absolutely.

"That's the base of why we're all here. I started and [a lot] of the young players started in Sunday league football. I've managed in the Championship. I understand a lot of the difficulties clubs are having, so I think there certainly can be a conversation.

Leyton Orient's tie with Tottenham in the Carabao Cup has been postponed after a number of players tested positive for coronavirus 3:03
Leyton Orient owner Nigel Travis says the government should provide financial support to lower league clubs struggling as a result of the coronavirus pandemic

"I can't go too political because I don't know enough about the numbers, but I do think clubs in the Premier League and the Premier League themselves have a heart. They understand and I'm sure as we move forward they will be making positive moves on that front."

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​However, Burnley manager Sean Dyche - speaking before his side take on Championship club Millwall in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday - was less enthusiastic about the prospect of Premier League clubs offering financial support lower down the leagues.

He said: "If the Premier League can do their bit to enhance the chances of other teams surviving, and when that is needed, possibly they'll step in.

Sean Dyche is hoping player's contracts are dealt with sooner rather than later this summer
Image: Sean Dyche does not think football should be the only industry where those at the top financially support those lower down

"But if you are going to apply that rule of thumb, does that mean every hedge fund manager that is incredibly successful, are they going to filter that down to the hedge fund managers that are not so successful?

"There's lots of different businesses out there making huge sums of money that could therefore protect similar lines of business, but lower down. If you are going to apply it to football, I think you have to apply it across the country to everyone and every business."

'Government must write football a cheque'

Peterborough owner Darragh MacAnthony says the government's decision to halt plans for supporters to return to stadiums is "devastating" and has urged it to offer immediate financial support to EFL clubs.

Peterborough owner Darragh MacAnthony says the government must 'write football a cheque' after the 'devastating' decision to continue playing behind closed doors

He told Sky Sports News: "We're talking millions for every club out there. It's devastating news, particularly with them talking about possibly six months. No business can operate under that.

"When you're putting one foot forward, suddenly you're going five steps back. For me, that's no way to operate.

"We've spent six, seven months going through this. We've all done our bit. We've been patient and now it's all been taken away, just when we think fans are around the corner.

"If the UK government want to do this again, it's time for them to write us a cheque. They've got to do it right now. Clubs have got to look after themselves, and their fans who have bought tickets."

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