Portsmouth chief makes fervent plea for government to give financial aid to EFL clubs

Pompey chief executive Mark Catlin reaffirmed his belief that the government must offer financial aid to EFL clubs while spectators remain locked out of stadia.

Tuesday, 29th September 2020, 10:42 am
Updated Tuesday, 29th September 2020, 12:13 pm

Since lockdown measures were introduced in March, Pompey have suffered losses of £750,000 per month.

Clubs across the Championship, League One and League Two have been hit with similar ramifications due to a loss in match-day revenue.

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There was hope that fans would return to games from October 1, with Pompey’s clash with Wigan last Saturday scheduled as a pilot event for 1,000 supporters assigned seats to be in attendance.

With cases rising exponentially once again, spectators might not return to stadia until March 2021.

There have been calls for the Premier League to spread their wealth across the football pyramid to help out the clubs below who are in need.

Pompey chief executive Mark Catlin. Picture: Joe Pepler

While Catlin feels top-flight clubs should give support, he believes the majority of the burden should fall on the government.

Speaking on Good Morning Britain, Catlin said: ‘We’re currently suffering losses of £750,000 per month and have done now since lockdown in March, so we’re already approaching a figure of £4-5m during this period.

‘The thing that really is hurting us is the unknown. How long is it going to go on for?

‘We keep putting budgets in for a certain set of circumstances, which, ie. was to come back in on limited form in September on a trial basis then gradually more in October and then hopefully that would be stepped up.

‘But that’s all out the window now and we’re just back to waiting to see what the government says.

‘A normal match-day we take anything between £150,000-200,000. Then when you add the season-ticket revenue, it comes to a figure closer to £400,000-500,000 per match.

‘The Premier League have, and some might say rightly so, been given quite a bit of stick over the lack of response.

‘But we have been advanced pretty much all of this coming season’s money by the Premier League and the EFL.

‘That’s the problem. At this moment in time, this money that has been advanced is being used to keep clubs afloat generally, but there’s no more money in the pipeline.

‘Now is the time, to a degree, that the Premier League need to do a little bit.

‘But I think the government has to step in. It’s not the Premier League stopping fans coming back into stadiums, it’s our very own government.’

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