In an exclusive interview on the Fan Engagement Pod from Fan Insights, Damian Collins MP has said that a number of clubs are close to mothballing, because of the lack of a deal between government and the football authorities.
The influential and outspoken former Chair of the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee said there is now a genuine fear that clubs will cease trading, enter administration, doing what they can to stop themselves from disappearing completely, meaning towns up and down the country will lose the focal point of their community.
He said that “decisions about finance need to be made very soon”, describing the need for government to help to protect football as a cultural asset in the same way as the government stepped in to protect the arts in the summer with £1.5bn fund. Whilst pointing out that whilst the Premier League undoubtedly needs to play a financial role, for them to have to provide every penny of the funds to help further down the pyramid is akin to “Amazon bailing out the high-street because it’s done so well during the Covid19 crisis,” with the league also having its own financial tightrope to walk.
Collins suggested that fans should contact their MPs to get them to place pressure on the government to bring a solution to the table with the authorities, and to do it now, inferring that complacency is now the biggest risk: “Clubs don’t have confidence of any support at. Absence of a plan is the biggest danger.”
He also discussed Fan Engagement more generally on the Pod, talking particularly about how the relationship between fans and clubs can be massively improved, based on his years of experience since entering Parliament in 2010, including being a highly visible Chair of the influential Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee.
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