Bristol City v Sheffield Wednesday - Even clubs as ‘big’ as Owls are struggling says Garry Monk

GARRY MONK has warned that Sheffield Wednesday’s stature as one of the historic names in the English game will not shelter the club from the financial storms threatening to engulf football.

Like countless other clubs, the Owls are counting the cost of the Government’s decision to pause the phased return of spectators to stadiums due to the spiralling rates of Covid-19 infections.

It has raised fears that a further extended absence of fans and decimation in match-day revenues will seriously threaten the likelihoods – and futures – of lower-division clubs in particular.

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For his part, Monk believes that the concerns are broader across the national game.

Owls chief Garry Monk: Transition plans hit. Picture: Steve Ellis

Monk, whose side visit Ashton Gate tomorrow, said: “The perception of football is that it is bullet-proof and that it does not have the same worries or concerns as anyone else.

“It is not true. They are businesses like anything else. There is a lot of money in football, but it is not divided equally.

“People will see Sky Sports at the top end and the luxury of it and think that is what every single football club is like.

“Football needs support from the Government and governing bodies and, hopefully, that comes as soon as possible.

“We are no different at this club. Even though we are a big club, we still have the same problems as everyone else. With no revenue, it cannot possibly survive. Clubs cannot.

“It is a fight of a season, I have spoken about it from the start. That is why unity is so important, but it is difficult because our fans are not there.

“But the modern-day footballer will read supporters’ comments on them and things like that and they need people to be fighting with them. Once we get back into the ground, we know it will be a fight together.”

A knock-on effect of the delay for fans to attend fixtures could be felt in Monk’s quests to bring in further transfer additions.

But he is philosophical and will work with what he has got if no more signings are sanctioned.

He said: “You get on with it.

“As a manager, you want as many options and as much quality as you can to help the ones you have already got here. But I have had to understand where the club is at and what we are doing. That transition is not going to be a full one and one you would perfectly want. It will take time to get to that. It might even go into next season before we get that full transition. But I am comfortable where the club is and what it needs.”

Last six games: Bristol City DWWWWL; Sheffield Wednesday LDWWDL.

Referee: T Harrington (Cleveland).

Last time: Bristol City 1 Sheffield Weds 2, June 28, 2020; Championship.

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James Mitchinson