Port Vale chief executive Colin Garlick says he has real concerns that some clubs won’t survive the financial crisis in the lower divisions.
League Two clubs have already voted to end their season because of the costs of testing and taking players off the government’s job retention ‘furlough’ scheme.
But they are still waiting to see when next season could start and when crowds might return. Garlick says, while Vale are in a relatively healthy position because of the support of owners Carol and Kevin Shanahan, some clubs will struggle to keep going.
He said: “I have real concerns for more than a few if I am honest. I am still thinking that nobody wants to be the first club to go, understandably, But I do think that when the first one goes, we will see a few.
“I am actually surprised we have not seen one already, I really am.
“Whilst the furloughing job retention scheme has been quite helpful, without knowing where we are going forward in terms of starting next season, and under what circumstance…..we can see that retention scheme is going to be pulled back and that is going to make it very difficult going forward.”
The Shanahans had the club running at a profit within nine months of taking over last May, but Vale must now rely on the owners’ funds to keep going after the campaign was suspended in mid-March.
The chief executive says plenty of clubs will cut their wage bills by releasing as many players as they can when their contracts are up at the end of June.
But Vale have bucked the trend by offering deals to seven of their out of contract players. Under EFL rules, players have until June 16 – a month from when the offers were made – to accept or reject them.
David Amoo, Shaun Brisley, Rhys Browne, Tom Conlon, Mark Cullen, Cristian Montano and Nathan Smith are the out of contract players who have been offered new deals.
Meanwhile, Luke Joyce has signed a new 12 month contract having triggered the offer through an appearance clause in his previous deal.