By Kevin Phillips

21st Mar, 2020 | 8:00am

'Catastrophic' - Exclusive: Phillips expresses Sunderland fears amid EFL update

Kevin Phillips fears behind-closed-doors fixtures could have “catastrophic” financial implications for clubs like Sunderland.   

The former England international, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, claimed the £50million short-term relief fund pledged by the EFL is not enough to guarantee the survival of clubs.

In a joint statement the Premier League, FA and EFL, yesterday extended the suspension of domestic fixtures in the UK from April 4 to April 30.

However, with Boris Johnson, today ordering pubs, restaurants and, gyms to close it appears increasingly unlikely that date will be met.

When asked how damaging games without fans would be at the Stadium of Light, Phillips told Football Insider: “Huge. Not just Sunderland but I think 75% of the Football League’s revenue is through the gate. If you take that away from any club it will have a knock-on effect. It could be catastrophic.

“I do not know the ins and outs but I know they are on a tight budget up there and probably the biggest in the league. Naturally, it will have a knock-on effect. It is tough times. Although they are a big club with a big budget, they are not like any Championship or Premier League club. It will have a huge effect.

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“I know the EFL have made a £50million grant available to help but that is not going to be enough to keep every club going for two or three months. You are talking £150million to keep them going. It is worrying times.” 

The Red and Whites generated over £6.5million in gate receipts last campaign.

Therefore, the cost of this season’s remaining nine games being played behind closed doors would likely be in the hundreds of thousands.

In other Sunderland news, Kevin Phillips has told Football Insider reveals behind-the-scenes information on his POTS.