Culture secretary

Premier League must ‘step up’ EFL clubs, says Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden | Soccer News

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden has called on the Premier League to “step in” and provide financial support to EFL clubs during the coronavirus crisis.

The EFL says its clubs stand to lose £200m without a crowd, having already lost £50m last season, amid fears that without a crowd some EFL clubs will disappear.

dowden said Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday“We are ready to support the clubs because they are such an important part of our local community. They were there at the height of the crisis, they were supporting us and now it’s time for the government to support them.

“The first thing we have to look at is the Premier League and I’ve been in touch with them this week.

“We all agree the Premier League needs to step in and they are having intensive discussions with the EFL about how they can support these clubs. They are ready to play their part, and the Premier and I have I urged them to do so.”

Please use Chrome browser for more accessible video player

Dowden says the potential return of fans to stadiums is under constant review, but a cautious approach is needed amid rising coronavirus cases

Dowden said the Premier League will meet on Tuesday now that the government has effectively barred any fans from attending games until March.

He said: “The direction is clear, we understand the Premier League have to play their part. I am in close consultation with them and hope they are able to reach an agreement and provide that level of support. .

“Most people would agree that in this context of rapidly increasing cases, now is not the time to bring the crowds back.”

Asked if the crowds will return by the end of the season, Dowden replied: “I would desperately like that to happen and we are constantly monitoring the situation.

“We are also looking at the use of new technologies, working with the clubs who have done a fantastic job so far.

“But in this rapidly changing situation with the virus, we just have to exercise a little caution, which we did from October 1.

“Most people would agree that in this context of rapidly increasing cases, now is not the time to bring the crowds back.”

“The government treats football differently from other sectors”

Forest Green Rovers chairman Dale Vince believes the government treats football differently to other aspects of society, believing it is their responsibility to help bail out lower league clubs.

Please use Chrome browser for more accessible video player

Forest Green chairman Dale Vince believes the government should provide financial support to EFL clubs

Talk to Sky Sports NewsVince said: “I really think it’s the government’s responsibility. You know they have a responsibility to the whole country to bail out the sectors of society that need it the most.

“We’ve seen them do that with the arts, we’ve seen them do that with the airlines to some extent, the furlough program, stuff like that.

“I think the government needs to step in. I know people often say the Premier League should be involved and I think it would be good if they did because they can, but the responsibility has to lie with governments.

“They spent £500m just in August paying people to go to pubs for a burger and fries, the Eat Out To Help Out scheme, £500m.

“Football at this level doesn’t need so many things. It’s the government’s responsibility.”