Premier League stance on EFL aid disappoints Gary Neville
"I wanted more from the Premier League from day one on this... There's a looming nightmare economically coming for the EFL clubs"
Last Updated: 26/05/20 6:08am
Gary Neville has been "continually disappointed" with the Premier League's stance on helping EFL clubs facing a "looming economic nightmare".
Premier League CEO Richard Masters said this weekend the top flight wanted to "continue to support the football pyramid", but defended the top flight's stance in not providing more of a financial stimulus to EFL clubs.
In terms of our commitments to other people, in terms of 2019/20 we’ve made good all of our commitments to our solidarity partners, including the EFL, and indeed in terms of 20/21, we’ve forwarded 50 per cent of that money to them.
Of course, we want to continue to support the pyramid. Our support for the rest of the game is unprecedented across European football, and we’re very committed to that.
Richard Masters, Premier League chief executive
Huddersfield owner Phil Hodgkinson has since warned as many as "50 or 60" clubs in the Football League could go out of business without a solution being found and Neville, who has already called on the Premier League to save EFL clubs from extinction, criticised their approach to sides lower down the footballing pyramid.
On Monday's The Football Show, Neville said: "That's what I'm seeing all over football. Everyone's looking at their own feet, and not seeing the carnage that's coming in the next three to four months.
"I wanted more from the Premier League from day one on this. I'm continually disappointed by them and their stance; I think what the Huddersfield owner says is quite alarming, I don't think it'll be 50 or 60 clubs personally, I don't see any evidence of that, but he might be closer to it than I am.
"But I do think there will be clubs considering going into administration in the next three to four months to save themselves, and it'll be interesting how the league deal with that. There's a looming nightmare economically coming for the EFL clubs, but whether it's up to 50 I'm not sure.
"From day one, I've said it will be July, August, September, October where the real pressure comes."
Where will the money come from?
Without Premier League assistance, the possibility of government intervention and support has been mooted - but Neville, who part-owns League Two side Salford, said he would prefer to find another method of support to keep clubs alive.
"The EFL will be there to fend for itself without the Premier League, and it doesn't look like it's going to get any extra funding from the Premier League at this moment in time," added Neville.
"There was some suggestion last week there could be a government bailout, but I was nervous about that as they've got enough on their plate with the other industries it has to look after, it's put enough stimulus packages in place to try to support businesses and employees.
"Whether it's going to look at football with a different angle, I'm not sure. But at EFL level, football does need some funding from somewhere in the next four, five, six months or else I think we'll see sides going into administration. That'd be a real shame, but the Premier League don't see it as their urgent responsibility at this moment in time."
What is the plan for the EFL?
Championship clubs are returning to training from today, May 25, following the first round of coronavirus testing.
Two individuals from Hull returned positive tests and will now self-isolate before being tested again. Players have been given the option of testing from home or being tested by club medical staff or external professionals.
There is still no testing programme or plan in place for League One or League Two clubs so they will not restart training yet - however pitches can be opened for individuals to work on.
In terms of finishing the season, the EFL board have looked at three different situations currently facing the Championship, League One and League Two, in determining how to conclude the 2019/20 campaign.
League One remains the most contentious issue, with the 23 clubs failing to agree to a way forward for concluding the season.
League Two appears to have found a way forward but while an indicative vote provides a direction, there are still hurdles to climb - especially with the 'no relegation' issue. The EFL has said that keeping promotion and relegation from all three of its division is "integral" to the "integrity" of the leagues.