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EFL chairman Rick Parry receives support as football calls for Government help

Derby County v Cardiff City – Sky Bet Championship – Pride Park
(Image credit: Nigel French)

Leyton Orient captain Jobi McAnuff has backed English Football League chairman Rick Parry’s combative letter to the Government and revealed the toll on players caused by the continued absence of fans from matches.

Parry’s letter accused Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s administration of ignoring football clubs amid the coronavirus pandemic and warned clubs will go out of business without a financial rescue package.

With no supporters allowed inside stadiums since March, clubs are feeling the pinch due to the prolonged loss of gate receipts – and McAnuff said it is affecting the players too.

Fans can not watch games at the stadium - but can view them on television in hospitality areas

Fans can not watch games at the stadium – but can view them on television in hospitality areas (Nigel French/PA)

“Of course all this can have a direct impact on the playing squad,” McAnuff told Sky Sports.

“Of course it has an impact, it affects when we travel to and from games, and many other things. It affects the atmosphere.

“We’re desperate to get fans back in, safely of course.

“But if that’s not going to happen we’re going to need some funding from somewhere.”

EFL boss Parry has written to Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden to detail the major cash crisis faced due to the effects of Covid-19 and matches being played behind closed doors since March.

The Government insists no fans will return to stadiums this year, with pilot events halted due to a second wave of coronavirus cases.

The EFL has negotiated with the Premier League over a bailout, but no deal has yet been struck.

Parry warned the Government fans “will never forgive” them if their clubs go out of business, and former Ipswich and Wolves boss Mick McCarthy backed that stance.

McCarthy believes clubs going out of business would devastate local communities, heaping yet more misery on areas already ravaged by the impact of the pandemic.

Republic of Ireland v Denmark – UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifying – Group D – Aviva Stadium

Mick McCarthy, right, has backed EFL chairman Rick Parry’s approach in criticising the Government’s coronavirus response in football (Niall Carson/PA)

Asked about Parry’s letter to Government, McCarthy told Sky Sports: “His letter makes sense to me to be quite honest.

“Football certainly needs it (a financial rescue package).

“The devastating effect this has all had, it’s hit the likes of Bury, that area, how it affects people.

“If clubs do go to the wall it will have a real negative effect.”