EFL chairman Rick Parry says it is not inevitable football clubs will fold in the new year

Cambridge fans
A crowd of 862 saw Cambridge beat Fulham U21s in the EFL Trophy on 8 September - the first elite competitive football match to host fans since lockdown

It is not inevitable that English Football League clubs will fold as a result of the coronavirus pandemic but a financial solution is needed quickly to "keep every single one of them alive", says EFL chairman Rick Parry.

On Wednesday, BBC Sport was told that clubs will struggle to stay afloat beyond Christmas if there is a delay to the wider return of fans to stadiums.

Parry said EFL clubs are collectively "haemorrhaging" £25m a month and that rescue packages are urgently needed to "secure the future of our clubs".

Speaking to BBC Radio 4's Today Programme, he added: "We will do our utmost to make sure [clubs going out of business] doesn't happen, we don't regard it as inevitable.

"The challenges are enormous, and we're working literally night and day on trying to secure financial rescue packages for the short term, and longer term I've been talking on that topic pretty much non-stop since May.

"We do need rescue packages and we're hoping that by securing rescue packages, we can secure the future of our clubs. Our aim is to keep every single one of them alive if at all possible."

Up to 1,000 fans will be allowed to attend eight EFL games this weekend as part of the government's crowd pilots, while discussions between the EFL and the government about a return for more supporters from 1 October continue.

Football has been played behind closed doors since its return following the coronavirus lockdown.

Discussions are taking place about what financial assistance the Premier League might provide, with a request having been lodged for around £200m.

However, Parry said the top flight was not their only hope of help.

"The Premier League are certainly one of the parties that we are talking to, but not exclusively," he said.

"We haven't put all of our eggs in one basket, our message is clear, the amounts that we need have been spelled out with clarity and with simplicity, but we need solutions really very quickly.

"This isn't a matter of months away, this is a matter of we need solutions in the next few weeks."

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