Premier League must finally share its wealth to save English football | David Conn | Soccer


EEven before football was plunged into crisis by the Covid-19 pandemic, influential people in the game discussed the need to share the unlikely fortunes of the Premier League more fairly. As the historic and solid lower and semi-professional clubs watch the ruin and the promised investments could flow from the bottom up, the argument is ultimately beyond any credible dispute.

However, the Premier League is resolving its fight to finish this season so it can grab the rest of the TV money, it will always be a huge draw for billions of dollars when normal life finally returns. Pre-pandemic stance that big clubs keep 93% of current £ 8.65 billion in TV deals in 2019-22, handing over the majority to wages, while spinoff degenerates for good works , does not seem sustainable after the crisis.

Some skeptics raised their eyebrows when EFL President Rick Parry made it clear that football finances needed to be reset and described Premier League parachute payments as “an evil that needs to be eradicated”. Parrying footballers remember Parry as the first energetic first general manager of the Premier League, having devised his separation from the Premier League football clubs and the introduction in 1992 of parachute payments for relegated clubs.

But Parry’s plea for financial reform, much more urgent and necessary now, is not a case of job amnesia that he did earlier in his career. When he was kicked out by EFL last year, in what seemed like a turbulent period but which now seems to be a lost utopia, Parry would have reminded people that he had long advocated a closer union and a more large distribution between leagues.

As early as 1995, when the 72 clubs of the three divisions of the Football League were still bubbling with the breakaway of the best teams in the division to share 50% of the television money, Parry offered to repair part of the offense. In view of the second cycle of television transactions from 1997, he obtained the agreement of the clubs of the Premier League to sell the rights jointly with the Football League and to share the product 80-20.

The Football League’s response caused a huge internal row at the time, as it suppressed all other huge football lines, as the board rejected the offer. The big clubs of the current Championship were furious at this missed opportunity to share more with the Premier League, and this led to reforms, including the appointment of Richard Scudamore as general manager of the Football League in 1997.

Scudamore was highly regarded as an operator and was quickly swept up by the Premier League, where he came to personify his resounding global growth in popularity and unrealizable broadcast fortunes. Scudamore was also a ruthless fighter for his independence and supremacy, repelling the influence of the FA as a governing body, and cementing and widening the gap with the EFL.

Richard Scudamore has come to embody the Premier League's booming global growth in popularity and unrealizable broadcast fortunes

Richard Scudamore has come to embody the Premier League’s booming global growth in popularity and unrealizable broadcast fortunes. Photography: Mike Egerton / PA

Tested by government or MPs investigations into gambling divisions and business losses, Scudamore has also become an expert in political gaming battles and does enough to withstand regulatory discussions. He incited the Premier League to do good works that it is never slow to pass before governments: community programs, funding for basic facilities and money at the EFL, touchingly described as “solidarity ” As the numbers are examined in these difficult times and discounting the £ 273 million parachute payments that the Premier League likes to present as money for EFL, the total distribution has been clarified to 6.8%.

Before the crisis, the discussion on increased sharing was not limited to EFL. Some Premier League clubs, for which relegation is possible, were also starting to advocate for a change. Surprisingly, there would be support, even among the best clubs, for the long-standing traditions of money distribution, genuine solidarity and strength in depth.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here