Barber: Clubs recognise responsibility for wider game

Chief Executive Paul Barber says that Premier League clubs recognise the responsibility they have to help the wider game come through the coronavirus crisis.

By Bruce Talbot • 19 April 2020

By Paul Hazlewood
Albion chief executive Paul Barber.

With no football played in the UK for five weeks income has dried up and clubs and leagues are resigned to completing this season behind closed doors, putting a massive financial strain throughout the pyramid from the Premier League down.

And, of course, Albion are desperate to enjoy a fourth season in the Premier League.

Barber said, “I think all of us in the Premier League to some extent have got a particular vested interest. All of us want to stay in the Premier League, that goes without saying.

“Some clubs are in a position where they can win something so clearly they want to win whatever they can win. Some clubs have got the opportunity to move into European competition for the first time, or back into a European competition.

By Paul Hazlewood
When football returns games are likely to be played behind closed doors.

“Everybody in the league has got something to play for in a different way. The one great thing about the Premier League is that in order for us to move in any particular direction it requires a significant majority, 14 clubs typically, to change a direction or rule so I think we can be pretty sure that, even if they vote for their own interests, there will be a consensus eventually that gets us to a position that is a right thing for football.”

Financial difficulties will be even more acute in the EFL whose clubs receive solidarity payments from the Premier League.

“I think we are also very aware that we have got a responsibility not just for our own league but also for the money that flows down to the lower levels," said Barber.

"Their own situation is going to be a priority for Premier League clubs at the moment, but we are all very cognisant of the responsibility we have for the wider game.”