EFL fear fans won’t be allowed to attend matches until 2021



EFL chairman Rick Parry fears that fans will not be allowed to attend matches until 2021, according to Burton Albion chairman Ben Robinson.

All professional football has been halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has put doubt over the remainder of the 2019-20 season.

Sport and major events have come to a standstill across the world and there are huge, sometimes unanswerable, questions hanging over how and when normality can return.

Stoke City have not played since beating Hull 5-1 on March 7, with Michael O’Neill having steered the club out of the Championship relegation zone over the winter.

There are nine fixtures remaining and relegation and promotion issues still up in the air – and that is before any complications about what is happening in other divisions.

Port Vale are still in favour of trying to get the League Two season finished, if it is safe to do so. They have nine games remaining and are currently one point outside the play-off spots.

Many clubs in the lower leagues are concerned about their long-term futures due to the stoppage in gate receipts.

With clubs fearing they may be unable to pay players’ wages for April, The English Football League and Professional Footballers’ Association has already proposed a 25 per cent wage deferral for League One and League Two.

To further worsen those fears, Robinson confirmed that during a meeting with EFL clubs on Tuesday,

Parry admitted he doesn’t believe fans will be allowed back in stadiums until 2021.

“There is a lot of uncertainty. We don’t know when the season will be concluded, if it is,” Robinson told Sky Sports’ The Football Show.

“An even bigger concern is about next season. In the meeting yesterday, Ricky Parry, the EFL chairman, said that he thought the season might not start until next year when the games are played with fans attending. You can imagine the financial implications of that are considerable.

“He didn’t think crowds would be in stadiums until 2021, that was his personal view. It could take as long as that to get gate receipts flowing back into clubs.”





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