No fans until 2021 means losses of £2million – Shrewsbury Town CEO Brian Caldwell
Chief executive Brian Caldwell has revealed Shrewsbury Town would face losses of around £2million if fans were barred from Montgomery Waters Meadow until 2021.
Town, like every other club, have seen revenue streams dry up since the football season was stopped in March by the coronavirus pandemic.
In addition to receiving no gate receipts, Caldwell also estimates the club have lost around £200,000 through the cancellation of conferences and events scheduled to be held at the stadium.
Though League One clubs are expected to vote to end the current season and avoid the £500,000 cost of playing the remaining matches behind closed doors, there are fears it could be next year before supporters are allowed to return to stadiums.
In an open letter to fans, Caldwell wrote: “The stark reality is there could be a potential loss of income of up to £2m if we have to play without crowds until January, which has been suggested by some but not confirmed at present.
“The worrying reality is such a loss of income could have a huge impact on our football club going forward, so be assured that we are doing everything we can to save and retain monies as much as possible.”
The chief executive was eager to stress Town’s finances remain among “the healthiest in the EFL” and they are well equipped to deal with the crisis for now.
But Caldwell added: “The impact this pandemic could have on the club from a financial perspective going forward could be concerning, even for a club like our own despite having one of the best financial positions within the EFL.
“We do have real worries that there could be some catastrophic consequences for some clubs.”
EFL chairman Rick Parry has warned clubs across its three divisions will face a collective £200m shortfall by September, while Damian Collins MP yesterday claimed an urgent government bailout will be required to prevent up to 10 clubs in Leagues One and Two entering administration.
He said: “It would be would be nice if football could help itself, but it won’t be able to do it. I don’t think there is a body able to stump up the cash needed. It requires leadership from the government here.
“They need to offer a stake in the clubs, as they are community assets.”