Football League clubs will ‘disappear in six weeks’ amid crippling coronavirus pandemic, says Leyton Orient chief

FOOTBALL LEAGUE clubs could 'disappear within five to six weeks' without financial help, according to Leyton Orient chief Nigel Travis.

The League Two chairman outlined a bleak forecast for the EFL as the coronavirus pandemic cripples teams with fans barred from games.

Travis backed Liverpool and Manchester United's radical restructuring plans, coined 'Project Big Picture', as a "great proposal".

The changes would reform the English football pyramid and, crucially, see clubs given a £250million bail-out to mitigate the impact of Covid-19.

Travis told BBC Radio 5 Live: "If clubs don't get something soon you will see clubs disappear, I would predict, within five to six weeks.

"One thing I need to quash is, this isn't about the pandemic, this is about a crisis in football that goes back many years.

"Before the pandemic, 75 per cent of clubs were losing money – that can't continue.

"The pandemic has, if you like, exacerbated the problem and we need to get it fixed.

"I know you are talking about 'Project Big Picture' – this is a great proposal as far as we are concerned. It is certainly very promising and clubs need it.

"Something like this has to go through."

EFL chairman Rick Parry is backing the controversial proposals but the FA have threatened to use their 'golden share' power in order to veto the changes.

And the government slammed the proposals as a 'power grab' and threatened to tear up the FA's control over the game if the reforms go through.

Travis added: "The real villains here are the Government. They've thrown football into a difficult situation. They said the Premier League has to bail out the EFL.

"I understand that but now they are complaining about what is coming out of some creative people.

"Just to be brutally honest, I live in Boston [US]. I know [Liverpool owner] John Henry.

PROPOSED PREMIER LEAGUE CHANGES IN FULL

  • EFL given £250m for loss of matchday revenue – deducted from future TV earnings.
  • Nine longest-serving clubs have 'special status' – with just six votes from those clubs needed to pass a new rule.
  • Premier League to go from 20 clubs to 18.
  • FA awarded £100m gift to help during Covid-19 pandemic to help non-league game, the women’s game and grassroots football.
  • 8.5 per cent of annual net Premier League revenue to go to 'good causes', including the FA.
  • 25 per cent of all combined Premier League and Football League revenues to go to EFL clubs.
  • Six per cent of Premier League gross revenues to pay for stadium improvements across the top four divisions.
  • New rules for the distribution of Premier League television income, overseas and domestic.
  • League Cup and the Community Shield to be axed.
  • 24 clubs each in the Championship, League One and League Two reducing the professional game overall from 92 clubs to 90.
  • A women's professional league independent of the Premier League and FA.
  • Two sides automatically relegated from the Premier League every season and the top two Championship teams promoted.
  • The 16th place Premier League club plays in a play-off tournament with the Championship’s third, fourth and fifth placed teams.
  • Financial Fair Play regulations in line with Uefa, and full access for Premier League executive to club accounts.
  • Away tickets for fans to be capped at £20, with travel subsidised, a focus on a return to safe standing, a minimum away allocation of eight per cent capacity.
  • Later Premier League start in August to give greater scope for pre-season friendlies, and requirement for all clubs to compete once every five years in a summer Premier League tournament.
  • Huge changes to loan system allowing clubs to have 15 players out on loan domestically at any one time and up to four at a single club in England.

*According to The Telegraph

"He and I have not personally discussed this but I am supportive of the proposal because this is going to save clubs like Leyton Orient and many other clubs in League One and Two.

"The reality is you need to save football and this is the only and best proposal I've seen. The government did a great job with the furlough programme but they've given the EFL no chance other than to negotiate with the Premier League.

"As of a week ago, as far as I know, all the Premier League came up with was £50m – that is not enough.

"The £250m that has been talked about and the 25 per cent share is clearly going to create a sustainable model and that's what we need in football.

"If there are better proposals, I would love to hear them."

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