Football clubs including Blackpool FC are at the heart of their communities. Many clubs are struggling at present because of the lack of match day income. I have raised the importance of helping football clubs with their finances with the Government.
Scott Benton Conservative, Blackpool South
Professional football clubs such as Blackpool FC are at the heart of their local communities, but many of them, especially those in leagues one and two, are suffering considerable financial difficulties because of the lack of matchday revenue.
With no imminent prospect of gates returning any time soon, the fear is that over the summer successive football league clubs will enter administration because of Covid-19.
Does my right hon. Friend think it would be in order to have a debate in this place about sustainable finances for football league clubs and the steps that the Government can take to support them?
Jacob Rees-Mogg Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
My hon. Friend raises a very good point. Football clubs play a key role in the health and joy of communities throughout the country, especially in many of the northern towns and cities, like those in his constituency.
Those clubs are not just sporting institutions, but vital for many local economies and livelihoods. I appreciate that the return of broadcast competitive sport behind closed doors does not really touch the joy and excitement of a full stadium of fans, whether we are talking about football, cricket or rugby—cricket is slightly more commonplace in my constituency.
Digital, Culture, Media and Sport questions took place only this morning, and I advise my hon. Friend to take the matter up further with that Department.