Simon Jordan believes EFL clubs are ‘staring at absolute Armageddon’ and has called on chairman Rick Parry to help save them by ‘resetting’ the English football pyramid.
While Premier League clubs may be able to keep themselves afloat during the coronavirus-enforced suspension of the game, sides outside of the top tier are in dire straits.
Clubs in the Championship, League One and League Two don’t have the luxury of the millions in TV money, and instead rely heavily on matchday income, when tens of thousands of fans pour through their turnstiles every other week.
And many of those clubs are now fearing for their futures, with claims the COVID-19 crisis could see football matches being played behind closed doors well into 2021.
Gary Sweet, CEO of Championship outfit Luton Town, told talkSPORT he is ‘deeply worried’ that lower league clubs just won’t survive without matchday revenue for that long.
“Football is in a precarious position here and we’ve got to protect it,” Sweet said on White and Sawyer.
“Football can’t go for a year without having any supporters without money in the bank, it’s just not possible.”
But former Crystal Palace owner Jordan has a radical idea to save struggling clubs and pave the way for a more sustainable future for English football – by distributing the £8billion brought in by the game every year more fairly between the leagues.
READ: Simon Jordan’s plan to fix ‘unsustainable’ English game
And he believes, in Rick Parry, the EFL has a man in charge who has the ‘chops’ to bring about that change.
“Guys like Gary Sweet get it, but they’re not in a precarious position, they are staring over the precipice at absolute Armageddon, because they don’t have the dough,” Jordan told talkSPORT.
“Rick Parry has come out and called the thunder down, and spoken to a bunch of MPs about the state of the English Football League.
“It’s an interesting time in terms of leadership, because there’s a real vacuum of leadership outside of the Premier League and Rick Parry should have the chops to be able to bridge that gap.
“The Football League is in a very difficult position, because if it says it’s not going to complete its fixture list because of the economics, then it’s just compounding the issue that the only league that’s important in this country is the Premier League.
“We talk about resets, and people keep banding this expression around, but the only way you’re going to get a reset in English football is if you change to distribution [of money].
“The players wont help, that ship has sailed as much as people like me tub-thump, it isn’t going to help. So you have to find a way to reset and I think Rick Parry has the ability to do it.
“It involves better negotiation with the Premier League, it involves the removal or parachute payments – which is ironic because Parry helped put them in – the removal of solidarity payments and a better distribution between the Championship and the Premier League which is more equitable, and it can be done without costing the Premier League any money.
“Rick Parry probably has the best opportunity in 30 years to recalibrate the Football League.
“It’s almost like the ugly, ginger-haired stepchild nobody wanted anymore to the Premier League because it’s such a runt of the litter, when really the football league is such an integral part of English football.”
Jordan also continued his campaign against Gordon Taylor, who has faced latest criticism over the PFA’s lack of action in response to the COVID-19 crisis.
And he says the 70-year-old’s out-dated and ineffective approach to his leadership of the players’ union is ‘part of the problem’ that currently faces the English game.
“Gordon Taylor’s attitude has always astounded me,” added the former Palace owner.
“Everyone has lost revenue! Every industry is finding a solution, football is the only one that can’t.
“We all know the talent gets the money and we all accept the talent drives the sport forward, but There has to be a balance, but that balance has gone wrong and people like Gordon Taylor are not the solution, they are, in part, the problem.
“Gordon’s position to sit there and maintain the standpoint [puts on his best Gordon Taylor voice], ‘the reasons why the industry hasn’t changed for 30 years and we’ve seen so many clubs go under…’ – it’s because you wont change, you wont facilitate any solution, and you just sit there saying, ‘players players players players players’!”
Listen back to a clip of Simon Jordan on talkSPORT above