The English Football League has told its clubs it has “virtually no leverage” to reach the new financial settlement it seeks with the Premier League and wants an independent regulator or the Football Association to have protective powers allowing it to impose a settlement “in perpetuity”. .
The chairmen and chief executives of the EFL, the Premier League and the Football Association have held face-to-face talks on the ‘New Deal For Football’ package which, if agreed, will lead to the biggest change in governance in English football in 30 years.
However, in a circular sent to EFL clubs this week ahead of Friday’s fixture, the league said there was still “no hope” of securing the financial distribution deal it is seeking – a 25 per cent share of combined Premier League broadcast revenue , merit-based payments across all four divisions, and the abolition of parachute payments for clubs that have been relegated from the top division.
The EFL is holding a series of regional club and MP meetings in Westminster next week which were originally due to take place late last year. The purpose of the meetings is to cement cross-party support for the implementation of the key recommendations of the fan-led review, the essence of which was the creation of an independent regulator.
“In fact, the EFL has no hope of reaching a solution in football,” states a circular seen by the PA news agency.
“(EFL) has virtually no leverage he can use to achieve a positive outcome from the Premier League. Financially, the difference in annual revenue between Premier League clubs and EFL clubs is huge. This is not only a problem we are ultimately trying to solve, but also shows the bargaining power gap between the two organizations.
“Ultimately, the current impasse cannot come as a big surprise to anyone. What the EFL is effectively asking with its 75/25 model and 2:1 merit payments is for Premier League clubs in the lower tiers to take less money when they are in the top flight – and forgo the considerable competition they enjoy from parachute payments in the event of relegation – in the wider interest of the football pyramid.
“Therefore, it is likely that only institutions independent of football itself and with broader competences will be able to make a decision that is in the wider interest of the game. The EFL believes that the issue of funding distribution is so central to the idea of providing sustainable football clubs that it should be at the heart of the government’s approach to this issue.
“Therefore, it is somewhat of a disappointment that so far the government, arguing that football is unable to solve the problems of governance of the game (and therefore needs an independent regulator), believes that it is able to solve the even more complex problem of financial distribution.” when evidence from the last 30 years would suggest otherwise.
“The EFL would support giving the regulator an indefinite protective power to determine a fair outcome in the event of a disagreement, or alternatively finding a way to give the FA the same responsibility.”
The government is expected to publish a white paper on the independent regulator before the end of the month. It was originally scheduled to take place last summer but was delayed by political unrest within the Conservative Party.
Premier League chief executive Richard Masters had previously stated that giving the EFL a 25 per cent share of combined broadcasting revenue would be a “disaster”.
Nevertheless, the six chairmen and chief executives are believed to have held open and constructive talks on Friday and will continue to meet to explore football-based solutions to address the broader issues facing the game.
The ‘New Deal’ aims to be a comprehensive solution for the game, including financial cost control, distribution as well as a look at calendar matters, with UEFA’s men’s club competitions set to be expanded from 2024. Premier League clubs are understood to be virtually unanimous in wanting replays The FA Cup has been removed while the future look of the Carabao Cup is also part of the discussion.