Steve Bruce has called on Premier League clubs to financially aid struggling lower tier sides and says English football’s elite simply ‘must’ provide support to the EFL.
Second-tier Wigan Athletic became the latest side to go into administration as clubs feel the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic, with several leading names having spoken of the importance of the Premier League contributing in an unprecedented period of crisis.
Newcastle boss Bruce has reiterated his belief that top-flight sides must do more to help their lower league counterparts, urging clubs to use the financial power of the Premier League to bring help in a ‘desperate situation’ at present.
“The world has practically collapsed in the past few months and I do feel the Premier League clubs must, I repeat must, try and help support the Football League,” Bruce said at his press conference ahead of Newcastle’s game against Man City.
“If you speak to some of the smaller clubs, they’re in a desperate situation. If we’re not careful, we’re not going to have a structure like we have now. From what I’m hearing from managers and chairmen, it’s on the verge of collapse. If we’re not careful I believe we could see the collapse of lots of teams.”
Aside from Wigan, Bruce has links to a number of clubs in the EFL, spending time in charge of Huddersfield, Birmingham, Sunderland, Hull and Sheffield Wednesday, while he began his playing career in the lower leagues with Gillingham.
“My blueprint for helping them would be to find a couple of million quid and put it to the clubs who badly need it,” he added.
“A million or two million quid in the Premier League these days, seems to be nothing. But in the lower leagues, that would probably keep them all going for a season. Basically I think it needs a donation from Premier League clubs.
“For me it’s the beauty of the English game. Some of these clubs have been going for hundreds of years; people work tirelessly to keep them going. What happens to those people if we don’t try to do something about this? We have to try.”