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Interviews

HOLLAND | OWNER BACKING IS CRUCIAL

7 July 2020

“I know Marcus Evans has got his critics but if he wasn’t at Ipswich now and putting the money he does into the Club, I’d hate to think what would happen"

Matt Holland says the support of club owners like Marcus Evans is vital, with the former Town skipper fearing the fall-out from the Covid-19 pandemic will present a massive threat to the football pyramid.

Wigan have gone into Administration, with reports that other clubs will follow as football outside the Premier League struggles to cope with the uncertainty of a prolonged period of playing games behind closed doors.

“In the Premier League it’s the TV money that really counts but in the divisions below, matchday revenue is vital,” ex Republic of Ireland international Holland told the Club website.

“If you can’t get fans into games for a period of time - say for much of next season - you have a real problem. There will be a lot of clubs in serious trouble. It’s the biggest threat to the football pyramid, what is happening and could happen.

“Ipswich are obviously still my club and when I look at the size of the club, the attendances, the wage bill will be at the higher end for sure, it will be one of the hardest hit in League One. Sunderland and Portsmouth the same.

“I know Marcus Evans has got his critics but if he wasn’t at Ipswich now and putting the money he does into the Club, I’d hate to think what would happen. You could be looking at Administration. Without his backing, I’d be worried big time.

“I think other clubs will follow Wigan and go into Administration, especially if they are safe in their league with the 12 point deduction.”

Holland, who was skipper at Portman Road when Town went into Administration in 2003, feels the pandemic will trigger a change in the financial landscape of clubs - outside the top flight that is.

“There is talk of salary caps in League One and Two and I can see that happening,” he added.

“Then you look at the Championship. I read that at one club 107% of turnover was being spent on player wages. I’m not a mathematician but that can’t be right.

“If you are paying out a lot more than you are getting in, sooner or later you are going to be in trouble. Clubs are gambling on getting into the Premier League. Fans want you to spend fortunes on players as well because they want to get in the Premier League but there has to be some realism. It’s got to be sustainable model and maybe football will change now. I think it needs to change.”


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