Plymouth manager Ryan Lowe doesn’t believe that the biggest and richest clubs in the country should be the ones to help prop up those at the bottom of the football pyramid…
As the Covid-inspired financial reckoning looms large for many of the clubs in the lower reaches of the Football League, and many Premier League clubs spend money merrily as if nothing untoward was happening, much debate has raged about the responsibility of those bigger, richer clubs to send some of their resources down the pyramid to save the little guys in trouble.
As a man so closely associated with Bury, who were driven out of existence last year, you might think Ryan Lowe would be among those vocally calling for assistance from above.
But no. The Plymouth manager spoke to The Totally Football League Show: Extra-Time this week, and his take on the situation was perhaps a little surprising.
“I lost a club that was very close to my heart in Bury, and now Macclesfield, another North-West club. I wouldn’t like to see a club go just because they’ve run out of cash.
“What can the big boys do? People are saying Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool are spending a lot of money, but is it really their prerogative to look after lower league clubs? At the moment, I don’t think it is. If someone went and asked if they could lend some money off them, if they give it? Of course. But they’re feeling the effects as well, they’ve got bigger wage bills than us.
“I think ultimately…there’s only so much money that can be shared around. I haven’t really got a strong opinion on whether they should or shouldn’t [help out].”
Rather than relying on handouts, Lowe is of the opinion that clubs should be allowed to earn the money to keep them afloat, which of course must come from having fans in the ground.
“If the government allow a group of fans in and the protocols are right, that’s where [clubs] make their money. Do I think the government can do that? Yes, certainly.
“Sometimes the government say one good thing and ten bad things, then two good things and six bad things. The safest place for us is our football club at our football ground. I’d feel comfortable going to Anfield, knowing the protocols are right.
“The Football League have got a task on their hands working with the government and letting that happen pretty soon, otherwise there’s going to be a lot of football clubs going out of business.”
You can hear the full interview on The Totally Football League Show: Extra-Time. Listen ad-free on The Athletic – subscribe for £1/month here.
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