Clubs unhappy with Bernstein’s call for football to stop

Former FA chairman David Bernstein’s call for football to be suspended has not gone down well at Premier League clubs, whom he has accused of seeking to keep the competition going for their own financial reasons.

Bernstein is also engaged in a long-running campaign to reform football’s governance via the appointment of an independent regulator, leading several clubs to point out that without the money generated by the Premier League there would not be a sport to regulate.

Concern over Owls doctor’s potential conflict of interest

Several EFL clubs have raised concerns about chief medical adviser Dr Richard Higgins during the Covid-19 crisis and a potential conflict of interest as he is also club doctor at Sheffield Wednesday.

Due to the sensitive nature of players’ medical information during the pandemic, many clubs are worried about a rival gaining inside knowledge over the extent of their Covid cases.

The EFL are also assisted by Sheffield United doctor Subhashis Basu who, along with Dr Higgins, organised the screening programme that resulted in 112 positive tests from 3,507 players and staff this week.

The Premier League have their own independent medical director, Mark Gillett, who has taken charge of testing procedures and Covid-secure protocols throughout the pandemic.

EFL could turn to Government to help Championship sides

The EFL have opened talks with the Treasury over taking out a Government Business Loan to provide the bulk of the £200million that Championship clubs need to get through the season, with another loan from the private sector likely to follow.

The EFL’s thinking is that Government lending will provide the cheapest and most secure source of funds, which should also strengthen their negotiating position when it comes to borrowing from a commercial bank.

With the ban on fans attending matches expected to be maintained all season – and even fears that restrictions could be applied during the 2021-22 campaign – it is anticipated that the EFL may require several loans for all of their clubs to survive.

More emergency funds needed with fans unlikely to return

The National League are set to receive a further £11m in emergency funding from Sport England to ensure they can complete this season.

The 66 clubs who make up the three divisions immediately below the Football League have already split £10m in Government funding, which was provided to ensure the 2020-21 season could begin last October.

But with fans unlikely to be allowed to attend matches for the rest of the campaign, more money is required to help the clubs pay players and manage their operating costs.

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