November 10 – Premier League Chief Executive Richard Masters has defended the organisation’s Covid-19 bail-out offer for the three English Football League (EFL) divisions below the top flight, saying “scarce resources” is a reason for deadlock.
Masters is due to face lawmakers at a hearing later today when he and the two other leading English football supremos, EFL boss Rick Parry and FA chief Greg Clarke, are expected to be grilled on why a financial support package for the lower leagues has yet to be agreed.
Although the Premier League’s initial offer was for third and fourth-tier clubs, last week the league’s shareholders added that they were willing to support any Championship (second-tier) club facing financial strain amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
While the EFL is asking for £250 million, the total currently being offered by the Premier League adds up to around £80 million, with much of it available only as loans, especially to Championship clubs.
Speaking to the website Politico before the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee meeting, Masters defended the size of his proposed deal.
“Our offer goes to the issue of ‘need’ rather than ‘want’,” he said, “and where you have scarce resources in the current environment that has to be the right approach.”
Masters cited estimated losses of £700 million last season and projected losses of £100 million this term – even though there was more than £1 billion of transfer spending by the Premier League’s 20 clubs over the summer .
“The Premier League is the most competitive league in the world, and you can’t stand still,” he said. “You have to continue to compete, you have to continue to invest.”
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