Peterborough United manager now sticks the boot in on the EFL as he warns of financial despair for lower league clubs

Peterborough United manager Darren Ferguson has joined in the club’s condemnation of the EFL’s behaviour during the coronavirus crisis.

Thursday, 11th June 2020, 8:31 am
Posh manager Darren Ferguson.

Ferguson has largely kept his own counsel since football was shut down over three months ago, but now Posh have seen their chances of promotion dashed by a vote he’s let his feelings be known.

The Posh boss, speaking to BBC Radio Cambridgeshire, said it was the worst time he’d ever known in football and that the pandemic had exposed the EFL’s lack of leadership and organisation. He described the EFL as ‘not fit for purpose.’

Ferguson now fears for the future of many lower league clubs as he can’t see fans being allowed in grounds to watch matches for some time which will add fuel to a financial crisis.

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“It’s the worst time I’ve ever known in football,” Ferguson said. “Clubs have just gone their own way and done their own thing.

“I’ve been consistent in my own opinion from day one and that as soon as it was safe to do so the Leagues should have been played out to a finish.

“I’m aware 40,000 people have died and that is awful, but when I see the Premier League and the Championship announcing they will start again I have to wonder why Leagues One and Two weren’t able to start as well. There are now Government guidelines in place which could have been followed by all divisions.

“I knew we were in trouble when I attended a managers’ meeting for League One and Two clubs a while ago. I was told then that the clubs would decide what happened next and it was obvious to me what that would mean.

“The EFL leadership has been non-existent. This pandemic has exposed their lack of leadership and their organisation. They should have said when we were going to start again and worked to make it happen.

“Our chairman worked harder than most to get teams playing, but it didn’t work and I suspect the EFL have got what they wanted from day one.

“We were very confident we would have finished in the top two. We had come through some tough games with some great results. We beat Oxford 4-0, Ipswich 4-1, Rotherham 2-1, Wycombe 4-0 and Portsmouth 2-0. We had five games at home left against teams in the bottom half and we havn’t dropped a single point at home all season to any of the teams in the bottom half.

“My worry now is next season. When will it start? Now the clubs are making the decisions do the club sort their own fixtures?

“I can’t see spectators at matches and that financial hole which is already £250m could easily double so how clubs cope with that?

“I can see clubs falling into Administration. Clubs need a lot of help financially and I hope it arrives. I believe that money was already there in football, but it never came to the clubs who needed it.

“We will probably be okay as we have excellent owners, but others will struggle. We will have to sell Ivan Toney, but we will get good money for him even in a pandemic and we shouldn’t have to sell anyone else.”

Ferguson was due to speak to Posh chairman Darragh MacAnthony and director of football Barry Fry today (June 11) to discuss next season’s playing squad.