Although he remains an acquired taste as a broadcaster, Stan Collymore will, more often than not, tackle the subjects that others won’t.
On this occasion, the former Liverpool and Nottingham Forest striker has laid into the Premier League for allowing its member clubs to go out and spend millions on players, when teams in the lower leagues are going to the wall.
If the status quo remains the same for too much longer, and the coronavirus pandemic continues, it’s highly likely that more clubs will go out of business, and that’s no good for the game in England.
Communities will be decimated without a professional football club and we’ve already seen the likes of Macclesfield Town succumb to financial pressures.
“There are plenty of things to laud about what has been done to make the Premier League arguably the best in the world but I don’t see any leadership when the **** hits the fan,” Collymore was quoted as saying by the Daily Mirror.
“We had Liverpool and Tottenham asking to furlough workers just a few months ago yet now they are bringing in players earning £100,000-plus a week, more than double that in some cases, and how can that work?
“There should have been a moratorium on transfers in the Premier League.
“It should have been a case of, ‘Right, does everybody have 25 players they can use in their squad? Great, well in that case, there will be no ins or outs this season because we are all concerned about our finances and this way there’s enough in the coffers with billionaire owners and TV monies still coming in to help keep all 91 clubs afloat’.
“That would have set the right tone for the country, the same tone Marcus Rashford has been setting as an individual and the same tone many Britons have been setting by volunteering in a whole number of ways to help others less fortunate out at a time when they have needed it most.
“People will argue that you don’t see Tesco bailing out Hog’s Butchers on the High Street, so why should Premier League clubs help out other football clubs.
“But the difference is, unlike football clubs, Tesco exists in its own world.
“Football clubs need each other to play against and it doesn’t matter what tier an outfit is in, they’re all giving to the eco-system of the game.
“Take League One clubs Sunderland and Swindon, for example.
“The Premier League wouldn’t be what it is today without the contribution they have made to it over the years, and the same goes for many other clubs as well.
“So why shouldn’t the current crop of ‘shareholders’ look out for those who have helped pave the way for the riches on offer today?
“Those with the richest owners would also do well to remember that, if the families or states who own them now decide one day to walk away, that there next time there’s a global pandemic and finances are being crippled, they might not be in such a privileged position.
“This would have been the perfect time for the Premier League to show real solidarity with the rest of our game.”
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It’s difficult to argue with Collymore’s sentiments, particularly if we were to see more and more clubs going out of business but who would’ve otherwise survived had the ‘football family’ rallied round.