English Football League chief hails ‘lifeline’ for virus-hit clubs
London: English Football League chairman Rick Parry says the government's decision to allow fans back into grounds is a "lifeline" for lower-league clubs who have struggled to survive during the coronavirus pandemic. Up to 4,000 people can return to outdoor sports stadiums in parts of England classified as at low risk from Covid-19 from December 2, a decision that affects football, rugby, horse racing and other sports. Parry told the BBC he was looking forward to getting fans back in more substantial numbers but it was a "welcome start". "At League One and League Two level (third and fourth tiers) it could be very significant," he said. "It's not just the money, it's a very welcome return to an atmosphere, and if we get 4,000 at League Two level it would be very welcome. It can be a very welcome lifeline." The EFL is considering moving some of its fixtures scheduled for December 1 to the following day in order to get fans in. Parry admits that clubs face some logistical hurdles. "Some clubs will still have safety officers on furlough, it's taken everyone a bit by surprise," he said. - APP