The Football League have asked top-flight clubs for financial assistance on a number of occasions, despite claims from Premier League chief executive Richard Masters on Tuesday that the subject has not been discussed.
Sportsmail can reveal EFL executives have repeatedly made it clear in their fortnightly meetings with the Premier League that a rescue package will be needed to prevent dozens of clubs going bust later this year.
Masters’ insistence when speaking to the Digital, Culture Media and Sport select committee that the Premier League have not been approached by the EFL took them by surprise on Tuesday.
The EFL have asked top-flight clubs for financial assistance on a number of occasions
Premier League chief Richard Masters claimed the subject had not been discussed on Tuesday
Not least as the Government stressed that a top-flight bailout for lower-league clubs was a prerequisite to their support for Project Restart.
EFL chief executive Rick Parry has warned of a £200million black hole in clubs’ finances caused by the coronavirus pandemic, a sum which will increase if fans are not permitted to attend matches by the end of September.
As a result, the EFL are understood to be asking for a £250m package payable over the next four years – fitting with the time left on their domestic television contract. The Premier League are yet to commit.
EFL chief executive Rick Parry has warned of a £200million black hole in club’s finances
‘We haven’t had a specific approach from the EFL or talked about a specific instrument,’ Masters said.
‘We meet the EFL every week but it hasn’t been a topic of discussion. There’s been talk of a reset but we’re in rescue mode. That is for a later date.’
In his own appearance before the DCMS select committee on May 5, Parry made it clear that financial assistance for the lower leagues was required.
The Premier League’s position has always been that they would engage with the EFL once the season resumed but since the restart two weeks ago little progress has been made.
Several Premier League clubs are proposing scrapping the League Cup for the rescue package
As Sportsmail revealed last month, several Premier League clubs are proposing the abolition of the League Cup as the price of a rescue package.
Given that the competition is responsible for around a third of the EFL’s TV deal, that would lead to them asking for even more compensation.
‘The Premier League have said if they’re allowed to play, then they will be in a position to talk to us about support for the lower leagues,’ Parry said in May. ‘We await that day.’
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