English lower leagues face £200m loss from empty stadiums
LONDON, SEPT 24: The English Football League (EFL) and Football Association (FA) warned on Wednesday that the delay in bringing back crowds for up to six months will have a devastating impact on the game's finances.
A plan to bring fans back into English sports venues on a socially distanced basis from October 1 has been scrapped because of fears over rising infection numbers.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the measures announced on Tuesday could stay in place for six months.
It is a devastating blow to sporting organisations, many of whom rely heavily on match-day revenue for survival, and there have been calls from governing bodies for emergency funding.
"EFL Clubs lost £50m ($63.7) last season as a result of playing matches behind closed doors or curtailing the season and stand to lose a further £200m in 2020/21 should we be required to play the whole season without supporters in grounds," said EFL chairman Rick Parry.
"As a matter of urgency we now need to understand what the government's roadmap is for getting supporters back into stadiums as soon as it is deemed safe to do so."
The FA said financial help from government was vital to help clubs survive.
"We understand the government's decision, as the health of the nation is the priority," the FA said in a statement. -AFP