COLCHESTER United chairman Robbie Cowling admits the club are fighting for survival as well as points, this season.

The future of EFL football is under serious threat due to the financial impact Covid-19 has had on clubs.

The U’s are still having to play their League Two games behind closed doors after the Government scrapped plans for spectators returning to sports venues, due to a rise in coronavirus infections.

The EFL has warned it faces a £200million collective loss if spectators cannot return in the 2020-21 season.

In his latest statement on the U’s website, Cowling said: “Colchester United like every other EFL team are fighting on two fronts this season.

“Our team are fighting for every point in their respective leagues whilst the clubs are also fighting for their survival.

“We must not confuse those two battles. Of course fans will have their opinions on team selections and tactics and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

“On match days the fight for points is all that matters but at all other time this season it will be the fight for survival that must take precedent.

“I made some decisions before the season started that were totally focused on survival and not on gaining points.

“We’re going to miss Luke’s leadership, Frank’s presence and Ryan’s consistency and we were not well placed to take advantage of the shift in player wage demands when the transfer window was closing.

“However, we have made some good signings and held on to some very good players. The club is much stronger when it sticks together.”

Cowling has reiterated that the EFL needs a rescue package in place to help clubs in the very near future, with league teams struggling due to their continued lack of income.

But the U’s chairman admits it is ‘extremely unlikely’ that the Government will loosen restrictions for the foreseeable future.

Cowling said: “I welcomed Will Quince to the stadium just over a week ago to show him the extraordinary lengths we had gone to in readiness for opening the stadium to our supporters.

“Will seemed impressed and I’m sure he would like to help us but I think it’s extremely unlikely that the Government will loosen any restriction for the foreseeable because restrictions only seem to be going in one direction at the moment.

“The hypocrisies of the restrictions are so frustrating but it is clear that things are getting worse and we must all do our bit to be a part of the solution and not a part of the problem.

“With no gate receipts and no rescue package in sight, the club are extremely grateful to those of you who have been streaming the games. Details of your Loyal Supporter tokens will be on your dashboard soon.

“For our game against Carlisle, we achieved 485 subscriptions so we fell just 15 short of getting into the number from which Colchester benefit financially.

“Having said that, the players are aware that hundreds of you are following them live and they do feel and appreciate your support.”

Meanwhile, Cowling has revealed he recently spoke to EFL chair Rick Parry about the way forward for EFL clubs, in these testing times.

He added: “I suppose we can all think up ways in which we would like to reset football but in my experience you must put first thing first.

“I spoke to Rick Parry on Friday and I have suggested that the first thing we should all agree on is a set of guiding principles from which plans can then be built.

“For example, ensuring the Premier League continues to be best league in the world, ensuring the English and Welsh national teams are supported by the EPL and EFL, making sure that football clubs at all levels in the pyramid system are sustainable and making sure football is more affordable for the spectators.

“Once all of the principles are agreed by all stakeholders, a much smaller group who are a lot smarter than me could devise a workable plan making sure that all guiding principles where adhered to.

“Obviously that will take time - which brings us back to the need for a rescue plan because without fans attending stadiums, one will be needed very soon or we are going to start losing clubs.”