Portsmouth chief slams government as they turn back on Sunderland, Ipswich Town,

And the Pompey chief executive feels the Premier League have been left to carry the can for keeping clubs in existence, while those who run the country turn their backs on the game.

discussions on Thursday night.

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But he believes not enough is being done by those in power to help those clinging to the financial precipice.

Catlin said ‘I’ve said for a while the government, quite handily for them, have beaten the Premier League into being the pantomime villain in all of this.

‘I’ve said consistently the government have helped out a whole host of other industries and they should do the same with the EFL.

“/>Pompey chief executive Mark Catlin. Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey chief executive Mark Catlin. Picture: Joe Pepler

‘It’s not the Premier League who have been stopping supporters coming into stadiums safely – it’s the government.

‘They haven’t given grants to football and they haven’t done any supportive measures like the Eat Out to Help Out scheme.

‘It’s the government who haven’t given any bailouts to football and reduced taxes in regards to VAT.

‘We’re one of the largest VAT-paying industries in the country, but they haven’t reduced that, where they have other industries.

‘So football’s been cut adrift really, which is unfair.’

That will remain the case all the time fans are not in attendance with critical matchday revenue cut off – a scenario echoed throughout football.

Catlin pointed out the club have paid in the region of £2m in tax through this period, yet no help is forthcoming from the government.

He added: ‘Even in lockdown we continue to pay taxes somewhere in the region of £2m, with no fans being allowed into stadiums and haemorrhaging huge losses each month.

‘I think that’s wholly unfair and the government, because we don’t know how long this pandemic is going to go on for, should have more structures and a strategy in place to help us.’

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