LOWER league football clubs need help to survive according to a chef who has lost his job at Colchester United.

Paul Burroughs, 35, had been the man in charge of food at the U’s Florence Park training ground in Tiptree for two years.

But he was put on furlough in March and has now lost his job because of the Covid-19 outbreak.

Mr Burroughs said bigger clubs needed to do something to ensure smaller teams - like Colchester United - survived.

“It is not necessarily the Premier League’s responsibility, but you think where those clubs would be if the smaller ones did not exist,” he said.

“All of football needs to get around the table and thrash out how they are going to make sure clubs survive.

“It might be time for a reset.”

U’s chairman Robbie Cowling revealed there would be job losses last week after plans to let some fans back in the JobServe Community Stadium next month were put on ice.

READ MORE: U's boss writes open letter to PM about future of football

He questioned why planes crammed full of people could take off but supporters could not be admitted with a strict safety plan.

Football figures have written to the Government urging them to provide a rescue package for the Football League, with Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden saying he was hopeful the Premier League would help out financially.

Mr Burroughs suggested a regionalisation of the lower leagues to cut costs.

“The team had a 665 mile round trip to Barrow this weekend and have Plymouth and Exeter in the other direction,” he said.

“Is that going to be workable in these times?

“There has been a system in rugby league where one ground has hosted two or three games at a time and that might help save costs while there are no fans.”

Mr Burroughs said the had no hard feelings towards the club since he had left and had received messages of support from club captain Harry Pell and other directors.

He said: “I wish people would follow the rules around social distancing more carefully. It is a short term sacrifice.

“I see the pictures of people outside pubs and bars and think if they didn’t do that and cases went down, people would be allowed back in the ground and I might have that job.

“It isn’t just me - it is kitmen, coaches, sports scientists and others who have had to be let go. No-one is bigger than the club and they have to do what they can to survive.”