Frank Lampard has urged Premier League clubs to ‘have a heart’ and help save Football League sides amid the financial implications of the coronavirus pandemic.
The impact of the pandemic and continued absence of supporters is being felt right across the sport, but nowhere more so than the lower leagues who remain without a vital source of income as fixtures continue to be played behind-closed-doors.
Sporting authorities have approached the government warning of the disastrous consequences potentially awaiting without financial aid, though the Telegraph are reporting that elite level football will not receive support given the riches at the highest level of the game.
The government believes that the Premier League – the richest division in world football – should be responsible for providing aid to clubs further down the footballing pyramid, with spending between top-flight sides remaining high and the vast majority of broadcast income still intact.
Several Premier League clubs – including Chelsea, Aston Villa, Leeds and Wolves – have broken their transfer-records already this summer and there will be an expectation that the country’s leading clubs do their part amid the crisis, the EFL having suggested they need a figure of £200m to cover for the lack of crowds.
Chelsea boss Lampard – whose side paid for Covid-19 tests for tonight’s Carabao Cup opponents Barnsley – agrees that top-flight sides must do their part and has backed Premier League clubs to bring support to the EFL in these unprecedented times.
“I do think clubs in the Premier League and the Premier League themselves have a heart,” Lampard said at a press conference.
“They understand that and I’m sure as we move forward they will be making positive moves on that front.
“In football, if you are talking about how Premier League clubs can help those lower down in the leagues, we have paid for the tests for Barnsley. It’s a sign of a club in the Premier League doing the right thing.
“I think it’s important that the Premier League as a collective looks at supporting the EFL, the leagues below and grassroots football absolutely, of course. Because that’s the base of why we’re all here.
“We all started – well I did and (a lot) of the young players started in Sunday league football.
“I’ve managed in the Championship so I know the difficulties because I was very close with Mel Morris and I understand a lot of the difficulties a lot of the clubs are having.”