Huddersfield Town owner Phil Hodgkinson has urged governing bodies to act now in support of lower-league clubs – or risk the very future of football in this country.
The coronavirus pandemic has led to uncertain financial times for most clubs outside the Premier League due to a lack of gate receipts, among various other difficulties.
Hodgkinson highlights the lack of any long-term plan to financially support clubs who will struggle once furlough payments stop and bills rack up in the aftermath of the crisis.
And the Terriers chief even suggests the entire football pyramid in this country could collapse if governing bodies such as the Premier League, EFL, and FA fail to offer immediate help lower down.
He told talkSPORT: “The problem is that nobody is talking about what happens with the entire football pyramid, including the Premier League, once this season is concluded.
“Without the football pyramid, football ceases to exist in its current form.
“You’ve got clubs at non-league level who are only surviving because their players have been put on furlough – and that will end at some point.
“You’ve got League One and League Two clubs who are only staying afloat because they’re deferring payments.
“And there are a small number of clubs in the Championship who are really struggling as well.
“All clubs need the pyramid and the house of cards will fall from the bottom, starting with non-league. They need help now.
“League Two and League One will follow, and then the Championship a bit later.
“If the EFL and all of the other governing bodies do not get together now and put a plan in place, their legacy will be forever tarnished and football will cease to exist in this country as we know it.
“There will be no pyramid, it will die – FACT.”
Meanwhile, talkSPORT host Simon Jordan argues that the EFL has been overlooked as governing bodies look to resume the current campaign.
The former Crystal Palace owner mirrors Hodgkison’s argument that the Premier League should not ignore the rest of the football pyramid, which it needs to function in the way it does.
“The bulk of people are coming back to avoid the financial ramifications of not doing it,” Jordan said.
“It’s a great shame and embarrassment to English football that it only really centres on the Premier League and that the Championship and Football League are being cast aside.
“There’s an argument that says they should be because they’re separate entities, but they’re really not, they’re part of the football pyramid.”