Letter sent to the Guardian:
The great black hole in your round up of what Premier League clubs are doing in the face of Coronavirus (Guardian sport, 17 March) is what these rich and superrich clubs are doing to ensure the smaller League One and Two clubs can survive the chronic loss of income while no gate receipts are raised, as all professional games are postponed, de facto, indefinitely.
These big premier and championship clubs could and should save small community clubs like Accrington, Macclesfield, Morcambe Rochdale, or Stevenage, or clubs already financially stricken like Bolton.
I made this point in email correspondence with Brighton's ceo and vice chair, Paul Barber, who told viewers of BBC's Football Focus last Saturday that the financial stabilization of his own - and other top clubs - must be a priority, an maybe after three weeks or so, they might look at how smaller clubs are faring. I suggested in three weeks some could have already gone to the wall. He told me as an employee of Brighton, he had to put their welfare first.
Chelsea, the super-rich club I support, in recent years spent £35 m on premiership winner Danny Drinkwater; £39m on French international Tiemoue Bakayoko, plus £59m on Alvaro Morata and subsequently loaned them out to others. This shows they have huge reserves of finances ( and bad player recruitment policy!); Manchester City do the same.
May I propose publicly to Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck that he lobbies owner Roman Abramovich to put up at least £10m - actually very small change for the Chelsea owner - to kick-start a support fund immediately along with Manchester .Utd and City, Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham especially, to ensure these clubs survive.
Chelsea have secured several great prospects from small clubs, like Welsh international Ethan Ampadu from fourth tier Exeter, and these small clubs act as talent developers for the super clubs.
This is a time for the richer clubs go protect the poor in our collective game we all love.