13 January 2022

Premier League and EFL still to commission advice over parachute payment row

13 January 2022

The Premier League and the EFL have not yet commissioned external advice to resolve their dispute over parachute payments, despite a call to do so in the fan-led review ordered by the Government.

The review panel, led by Conservative MP and former Sports Minister Tracey Crouch, published its recommendations to ensure the financial sustainability of the domestic game in November last year.

The most eye-catching was a call for independent regulation of financial matters in the sport, but Crouch’s panel also addressed the issue of parachute payments to clubs relegated from the Premier League.

EFL chairman Rick Parry says parachute payments have a distorting effect on the competition (Mike Egerton/PA) (PA Archive)

It concluded, while the intention of the payments was “laudable”, the system should be reviewed as part of wider reform of how money is distributed from the Premier League to the pyramid. EFL chairman Rick Parry has previously said the payments have a distorting effect on the competition he oversees.

The review called for compromise from the Premier League and EFL and added: “If football cannot find a solution by the end of the year (2021), the review has concluded that the Premier League and the EFL should jointly commission external advice to develop a solution to parachute payments as well as wider distribution issues.”

The PA news agency understands external advice has not yet been commissioned, with discussions ongoing between the Premier League and the EFL.

Sources point out that it was only a recommendation, with the Government’s official response to the review expected in the spring.

The review states that, if the Premier League and the EFL fail to reach an agreement on distribution, the new proposed regulator should be given backstop powers to impose one upon them.

The EFL is seeking an increase in the share of media revenues it receives to 25 per cent. Premier League chief executive Richard Masters was asked last November if there was merit in increasing the share of wealth distributed to the EFL. He said it would be “a disaster” to do so.

A number of executives working for Premier League clubs were publicly critical of the idea of an independent regulator, and also the call for a transfer levy to provide further financial support to the pyramid.

Crouch told the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee last month that the criticism of the levy was “interesting” given that it had been proposed by a Premier League club.

The best videos delivered daily

Watch the stories that matter, right from your inbox