FOOTBALL needs to look after itself to survive amid the coronavirus crisis according to sports minister Nigel Huddleston.

The government is not expected to bail out clubs who are struggling during the pandemic.

The Premier League and Sky Bet Championship returned behind-closed-doors last month with Leagues One and Two ending their regular seasons and only holding the play-offs given the lack of income from gate receipts.

EFL chairman Rick Parry has warned lower league clubs are facing a £200million financial black hole by the end of September.

The Premier League advanced their £125million solidarity payment in April but there has been no approach from the EFL for more money and Huddleston believes the Leagues need to look after each other.

He said: “We’re in conversations with them, but, to be honest, I think EFL, Premier League and the FA all understand that they’ve got a responsibility to each other and to make sure the whole pyramid survives. I expect everybody to play their part.

“There’s a responsibility for the football pyramid to look very carefully at the dynamics and the financial flows.

“There’s a lot of money in British football and we need to make sure that it first and foremost looks after itself.

“Given that there’s a lot of money in British football, taxpayers would not necessarily expect that that’s the sport that they’re going to have to delve into their pockets and bail out.

“We are having conversations with all the key players. Premier League have advanced £125million so far and if more’s needed, then we’ll have those conversations.

“To be fair, they are having conversations among themselves, and also then looking at slightly longer term. We’ve announced a grass-roots fan-based review of football governance. I don’t think that can be divorced from the financial aspects as well.

“We’ll see how things go in the long term, but there are some clubs that are really going to suffer, so we really need to make sure that we can open up as fast as possible but also safely.”

The government is planning to allow fans into Premier League games and other sporting events from October 1.

Huddleston added: “The October 1 deadline is certainly the target that we’re looking at.

“In the past, if you look at various announcements we’ve made but I think that’s a pretty firm one.”