Coventry City and their Championship rivals could see their season thrown into jeopardy after the government were warned EFL clubs may stop the season unless they receive government aid.
Sunderland’s co-owner Charlie Methven says clubs could go into “mothball” in a bid to stop themselves going bust after fans were prevented from returning to stadiums.
It is feared there could be “collapse of the national league structure” as a result because of falling broadcast revenue allied with no income from matchday attendances.
The government is now being urged to step in to halt a full-blown crisis and Methven said: “If the government is not taking responsibility (for their ban on fans) then clubs have to think very seriously about mothballing.
“There is no useful function in pretending to be a football club when you can’t attract revenue to pay the players.
“What is not realistic is that EFL clubs will continue to play indefinitely with no gate receipts.
“That cannot happen, no way it can happen. Without a bail out, there is no chance those leagues will continue indefinitely.
“When you can’t play to continue indefinitely. Why not take the action you need to take now to make sure they don’t go bust. It is super urgent. We are 3-4 weeks from that decision becoming acute, at the outside.
“A small number of clubs will fail to meet October payroll and a very significant number who fail to meet November and December payroll. It is urgent and serious and it is time the government woke up to the huge impact football has in their communities.
“These are towns that the government claims to be interested in as part of their levelling up agenda. And they subsidise art galleries in London while allowing clubs in these small footballing towns, where the club is the hub of society, to go to the wall.”