English Football League clubs have rejected a £50 million (€58m) rescue package for League One and League Two after deeming the bailout inadequate and insist Championship clubs should be part of any deal.
Clubs are uncomfortable with the Premier League excluding second-tier teams from the loans and grants package on offer and league executives are unanimous in believing Championship clubs must be part of any future conversation.
Clubs also believe the EFL and not the Premier League should dictate where any financial support goes, although there is an acknowledgment that most League One and League Two clubs are in greater peril than those in the Championship and would be the first to receive such help.
A Championship source stressed the EFL is “72 clubs, not 48” and acknowledged the EFL must continue dialogue with the Premier League to establish a sufficient financial package.
One League One chairman described the Premier League’s offer, which was £20m in grants and £30m placed in reserve to prevent any clubs from going bust, as “embarrassing, disgraceful and disingenuous”, adding that the deal was akin to giving a “starving child tidbits to survive”.
A statement from the EFL was more conciliatory, saying that “while EFL clubs are appreciative that a formal proposal has now been put forward, the conditional offer of £50m falls some way short” of its financial requirements.
Emphasising the solidarity among the clubs it said: “There was a strong consensus that any rescue package must meet the requirements of all 72 clubs before it can be considered in full … The EFL is keen to continue discussions with the Premier League to reach an agreeable solution.”
There is a general appreciation that the Project Big Picture proposal rejected by Premier League clubs on Wednesday, which was put forward by Manchester United and Liverpool, together with Rick Parry, the EFL chairman, containing a £250m (€290m) bailout, was “one step too far” but clubs believe something closer to that package is required. Parry is understood to have EFL clubs’ unanimous backing.
Premier League managers rejection of Project Big Picture was welcomed by some Premier League managers on Thursday, with Southampton’s Ralph Hasenhüttl saying: “In the end it ends up in a league that maybe has one champion for the next nine years like in Germany or in Italy. For me, it’s boring, to be honest. What I like so much about the Premier League is that we have every two, three years a new champion. ‘A Leicester’ will never be possible with these changes.”
His Arsenal counterpart, Mikel Arteta, said it was important to consider “how we can help each other and make football more sustainable”. – Guardian