MPs Call on Premier League to Give Financial Help to Lower Divisions
Thursday, 23rd Jul 2020 10:02
A Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee (DCMS) has called on the Premier League to provide financial support for clubs in the EFL with up to 15 sides said to be close to going bust.
"The current football business model is not sustainable," the report reads."The Covid-19 crisis has shone a stark light on the financial issues within football.
"The Premier League is the main income generator of English football. If it does not step up to help the English Football League, many more clubs will follow in Bury FC's footsteps.”
Leagues One and Two were forced to curtail their 2019/20 seasons largely due to clubs being unable to afford to stage games behind closed doors. There remain concerns that some sides may not be in a position to begin 2020/21 - which appears likely to start on September 12th - for the same reasons.
Wigan Athletic are currently in administration with the resultant 12-point deduction confirming their relegation to League One last night.
Committee chair, Conservative MP Julian Knight, told PA: "There are 10-15 clubs on a watchlist right now in terms of whether they go bust. That's from the EFL. That is one in five.
"That would be absolutely tragic for many communities around the country. There needs to be a reset.
"This has been broken for years but the fact EFL clubs [now] cannot get people through their turnstiles means some of them are effectively facing extinction. They don't have the big TV deals that the Premier League does.
"Any idea there would be a government bailout is for the birds, in my view, when there is a £9 billion TV deal at the very top of football. The football family needs to come together and work together in order to sort this out.”
The Premier League was also urged to make parachute payments for clubs relegated to the Championship “a thing of the past”
Giving evidence to the committee in May, the EFL’s chairman Rick Parry said the payments are are "an evil that need to be eradicated”.
Additionally, the report said football needs to be more representative of black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) groups and should outlaw homophobic chanting.
Meanwhile, Shrewsbury chief executive Brian Caldwell has suggested that Carabao Cup and Leasing.com Trophy ties - which traditionally attract smaller crowds - should be played in September when games will be played behind closed doors.
That would allow league matches to be staged once supporters were able to attend, even if in limited numbers, with prime minister Boris Johnson having said last week that he hoped fans could return to grounds from October 1st.
Caldwell also proposed the season being extended for an additional week to May 15th with two games scheduled for the May bank holiday weekend.
A meeting is being held tomorrow which is expected to confirm the September 12th start for the EFL divisions.
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