The revolution Portsmouth chief executive can see on the horizon for English football

Mark Catlin believes football is heading towards a seismic change in its financial culture amid the coronavirus crisis.

Friday, 3rd April 2020, 5:30 am

And the Pompey chief executive has called on the English game to look inwardly at its financial health with a host of clubs today in a perilous fiscal position.

Catlin feels football is heading towards a much-needed realignment of player salaries in the wake of the suspension to the season in the face of the Covid-19 outbreak.

The impact of a halt to proceedings was quickly noticed with Championship sides Leeds and Birmingham asking their players to defer their wages, while the Professional Footballers’ Association yesterday met with football authorities.

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A bailout from the Premier League clubs to sides in the EFL has also been discussed, but Catlin has made it clear he feels members need to get their own houses in order with Championship sides in particular running up huge debts and profit and sustainability rules being broken.

He can envisage a scenario where recent events prove to be a line in the sand and football heads into a new era of financial responsibility.

Catlin said: ‘I think if we don’t learn about the fragility of the football economy with clubs not being able to pay players within football being suspended for one or two games, there’s an issue.

‘Clubs are finding themselves in trouble immediately. It just shows you how fragile the football economy is.

Pompey chief executuve Mark Catlin

‘It’s something we’ve been arguing for under fan ownership and under Michael (Eisner), clubs need to become financially more responsible and self-sufficient.

‘I think one of the scenarios being discussed is what will football like coming out the other side of this in terms of player salaries?

‘Maybe the finances we’re used to may not be the same moving forward. That’s not just because of the clubs but the general economy.’

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