“I do fear for some clubs if it doesn’t come soon. These clubs mean such a lot to people and the towns. I just hope they can come to some agreement and come up with an answer."

Liverpool and Manchester United this week led the way on Project Big Picture, a package which would not only have seen the best part of £1bn injected into the EFL, but also offered financial support to the FA, grassroots football, fans, and stadium developments.

It’s since been reported that the proposal was voted against by a majority of the Premier League clubs, despite the EFL – and a large number of member clubs – publicly supporting the overall outline of Project Big Picture and the sustainability it would offer the game as whole.

“I’ve always said the Premier League have to come up with an answer,” said the Boro manager. 

“The Premier League should be helping out of the EFL. Look at the money that’s involved. It’s a crisis isn’t it? They have to take responsibility. This is about lower league clubs and families who have supported them all their lives and are so important to their towns.

“I do fear for some clubs if it doesn’t come soon. These clubs mean such a lot to people and the towns. I just hope they can come to some agreement and come up with an answer. 

“The football pyramid is absolutely vital. You don’t realise how important lower clubs are when you’re sat in a lofty perch. Look at clubs like Scarborough. Lower clubs are vital. I had great times at places like Burton and I’m sure they will be needing help.”

Speaking to the media on Friday morning, the Boro also reiterated his bemusement at fans not being allowed to attend matches.

“Look at the crowds at the Albert Hall watching Arsene Wenger this week. That can happen but we can’t have fans at matches? Explain that to me."

“I don’t know who’s making the decisions,” he said. “Look at the crowds at the Albert Hall watching Arsene Wenger this week. That can happen but we can’t have fans at matches? Explain that to me. 

“We had a really successful pilot game last month against Bournemouth. We didn’t have a problem. We had families together and it was safe and well organised, and the feedback from across the board was terrific. 

“From a mental perspective people need an outlet. They need something they can focus on and enjoy. The government really needs to help out here.”