Professional football in the UK is in crisis and it needs Government support – i.e. money – NOW. If you’re concerned about the game’s future and Reading’s place within please lobby your local MP and / or Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden. If you live in Reading West please get in touch, as a constituent, with Alok Sharma, the Business Secretary.
While £1.5bn support for the Arts has been offered football has had nothing but platitudes and the vague hope that the Premier League will rescue everyone else. It won’t and it can’t. Dozens of clubs, key assets in their communities are at risk. Macclesfield have just gone. Bury are forced out of town to play several leagues lower. Wigan have big problems, League 1 and League 2 clubs will struggle to pay September wages let alone October’s with the stadiums now closed to fans indefinitely. We are not talking massive sums of money here. Damian Collins MP offered a workable plan in the summer that would cost around £200m. Rick Parry, chair of the EFL, currently suggests about £250m.
STAR Board members are meeting virtually with the Football Supporters Association on 1st and 7th October to see what we can do at a local level to address this national crisis. As far as we know Reading FC is not under immediate threat though there have been recent staff cuts. But we will be affected if we don’t have opponents to play or divisions to play in or if the Premier League and the big clubs in particular draw further away from us – and just offer football that is about brand and television, not community and match-going.
So please take the time to write a personal email to your MP or Oliver Dowden MP simply asking for immediate financial help to save the football pyramid and the hugely valued clubs within it. If these go down our society will be a lot poorer for it and the Government’s inaction will be remembered.