“It’s just around the corner”: Sheffield Wednesday boss issues plea to Rishi Sunak and co

The perilous financial situation hovering over football clubs across the country is more serious than many understand, Sheffield Wednesday boss Garry Monk has suggested.

Thursday, 1st October 2020, 5:00 pm

A few days on from a press conference that saw Burnley boss Sean Dyche, a long-time former EFL manager, baulk at the idea of Premier League clubs offering further financial assistance to those in the leagues below, Monk said that it was not just for the top tier clubs to help out but the Government and relevant authorities too.

Drag their feet and before long, he has warned, more clubs will go under.

In the last year or so two major clubs, Bury and Macclesfield, have hit the wall to leave gaping holes in the cultural and social heart of their communities and with the financial grip of the coronavirus crisis tightening on the business of football every day, Monk warned that further tragedies are ‘just around the corner’.

Sign up to our Sheffield Wednesday newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Hillsborough stadium has not welcomed Sheffield Wednesday supporters since March.

On immediate financial assistance to the football industry, Monk said: “It needs to happen, it’s as simple as that and it needs to happen as quickly as possible.

“It’s not just for the Premier League to help, they have their own issues as well and the Government need to support us as they’ve supported other sectors.

“Football is not immune to what is going on. The perception of football is that it is awash with money, maybe at the very top end but even those clubs will have issues in this scenario.

“For the rest of us it’s like any business in the world, we’re not immune to it and it needs help.”

Trials were held last month over the staged reintroduction of supporters into football clubs but were shelved as the Government were forced to tighten restrictions as the national infection rate increased.

It should be mentioned that although Wednesday have tightened their belts significantly with regard to their transfer activity, they did this week complete the signing of Callum Paterson for a fee understood to be around the £500,000 mark, an investment they will see as vital for the future of their finances and the protection of jobs going forward.

Clubs up and down the EFL perform not only vital cultural and social roles in their communities but practical ones to, with The Sheffield Wednesday Community Foundation and the Owls Foundation offering important support to some of the city’s most vulnerable.

“Across the world football is such a huge thing in terms of entertainment and community-based, what it means within those cities and towns and things like that,” Monk said.

“We call them clubs because it’s football to us, but as a business you can’t have them going out of existence without trying to support and doing everything we can.

“It’s important that the authorities, whether that’s the Premier League, the EFL, whoever that is, the PFA, the Government, they need to work together and they need to work quickly. We’ve already seen it. I think it’s just around the corner.

“Before we know it we’ll be hearing more and more clubs going out of existence if we don’t sort this soon, so we need to address that ASAP.”

MORE FROM OUR WEDNESDAY WRITING TEAM

Thank you for reading this article, one of dozens we publish every single day to provide you with the best, most up-to-date and most informative coverage of YOUR club. This depth of coverage costs, so to help us maintain the high-quality reporting that you are used to from the football team at The Star, please consider taking out a subscription to our new discounted sports-only package. You'll find all the details at www.thestar.co.uk/subscriptions/sports.

Your support is much appreciated.

Chris Holt, Football Editor