The Championship’s potential return has another significant obstacle – bills that could exceed £500k per club.
A growing number of clubs are angry about the cost of getting the season restarted and could block a resumption unless their costs are met, The Sunday People reports.
That is said to include a significant number of clubs who are not competing for promotion or battling to avoid relegation are questioning who will cover their bills if they return to play, with concerns raised in recent meetings.
In last week’s meeting, it was flagged up that regular testing, which will be required for any football to return, will cost between £150-200k per club and clubs will also have to pay for hotels for players and staff to be quarantined in while the campaign is completed.
One senior figure at a Championship club told the Sunday People: “It costs anywhere from £7,000 to £12,000 for every overnight trip we make, depending on the area of the country we stay in. That includes a night’s accommodation, dinner, breakfast and potentially a pre-match meal. That is the total for management, backroom and playing staff whenever we have to stay overnight.
“Now the thinking is that if English football follows the German model, where staff are housed in a hotel for six or seven weeks while the season comes to an end, that could generate an enormous bill.
“We would be shelling out upwards of £50k-a-week. When that’s added to the cost of testing, and everyone assumes that clubs are going to be paying for that as well, you’re talking over £500k. If you’ve got no real interest in either end of the table, why go to all the trouble? It’s an unnecessary outlay at a time when there is a lot of uncertainty about.
“A lot of owners are taking a financial hit and they aren’t hugely happy about digging deep to fund a restart when they won’t get any real benefit, other than to see the fixtures revealed.”
Stoke City were 17th in the Championship when the campaign was suspended in mid-March. They had climbed out of the relegation zone under Michael O’Neill who took over a team bottom of the table in November.