RICHIE Wellens has called on the Premier League and Sky to make more money available to EFL clubs during the coronavirus pandemic.

Swindon Town and others in Leagues One and Two will lose millions of pounds between them over the coming months while fans are not allowed into stadiums.

Manager Wellens argued huge TV deals mean top clubs make enough money to help support lower-league clubs – and without the rest of the EFL there wouldn’t be a supply line of talent.

“There’s a bit of momentum now, in terms of sports clubs," Wellens told BBC Radio Wiltshire. "It is the lifeblood of most communities so I think the government are getting behind it.

“I think (Chelsea manager) Frank Lampard’s come out and said the Premier League should help these clubs.

“I said it in pre-season, if you look at the majority of Premier League managers and the majority of Premier League players, they’ve not always started out in the Premier League and not left that environment.

“They started at Championship, League One and League Two clubs. Managers started off at League One, League Two clubs and built up.

“Our football pyramid is better than anyone else in the world and I think it’s very important we keep it.”

Wellens cited the example of striker Ollie Watkins, who recently moved from Brentford to Aston Villa for £30m. He started out at Exeter City – and spent time on loan at Weston-super-Mare – before climbing the leagues.

He explained: “This pyramid we’re in, these 72 clubs that year-in year-out provide players for the Premier League. If they weren’t there, there would be no Ollie Watkins.

“He would’ve started at Exeter, then wouldn’t have got a club because Exeter’s gone bust and might be working in a supermarket now.

“He’s not. Exeter give him the foundation to start on, he then moves to Brentford which gives him the next step on the ladder and now he’s just moved for £30m to Aston Villa.

“It is massive for a lot of young lads who don’t quite develop at 16 or 17, that develop at 19, 20 or 21 and we’re the clubs.

“Like with our young players now, like with (Swansea goalkeeper) Steven Benda last year and (Huddersfield defender) Rarmani Edmonds-Green, we give them an opportunity to start their careers and then the Premier League, long term, get the benefits of that.

“So I think the Premier League money should be shared out more equally.”