EFL rejects Premier League's COVID-19 bailout offer of £50m

Ross Houston
October 18, 2020

The English Football League, representing the three divisions below the Premier League, has rejected a £50 million ($65 million) COVID-19 bail-out offer from the top flight, the EFL said on Thursday.

The likes of Henry and the Glazers have little concept of the importance of football clubs to their communities, particularly in the lower leagues, coming as they do from the U.S. where sport franchises are happy to relocate if a different city offers them a more lucrative deal.

"The financial requirements have been discussed thoroughly by the League in order to discuss and address the lost receipts in 2019-20 and 2020-21, it is appreciated by the EFL clubs that a proper proposal has now been suggested, the conditional offer of £50 million falls how in need of this".

The Premier League remains open to providing help to clubs.

The Premier League is understood to be prepared to engage with any club, including those in the Championship, who believe they are under immediate threat.

Project Big Picture may have sounded impressively philanthropic, but it was anything but as the biggest beneficiaries would inevitably have been the big clubs who would gain greatly while giving relatively little away in practice.

EFL chairman Rick Parry had been the public face of "Project Big Picture", backed by Liverpool and Manchester United, which was rejected by Premier League clubs on Wednesday. Its chief executive Richard Masters spoke on Wednesday about the need to "re-establish trust" with the EFL leadership after the events of last weekend.

Parry's plan proposed a £250 million "rescue package" for the EFL but was tied to a series of reforms which would have increased the power and revenue share of the top clubs in the Premier League.

"This proposal - which consists of grants and interest-free loans totalling Stg50 million - aims to ensure that no club will go out of business as a result of the financial impact of COVID-19, and all will be able to complete the 2020/21 season".

Prime Minister Boris Johnson's official spokesman was asked about the Premier League bailout for the EFL at a lobby briefing today.

The carrot dangled to get desperate EFL clubs onside was the apparently magnanimous gifting of £250m plus a net 25pc of future TV revenues to the EFL, but in reality, much of that cost would have been offset by reducing the Premier League to 18 teams and scrapping parachute payments. "We strongly urge the Premier League and the EFL to continue to work constructively to come up with a deal that provides a comprehensive package of support for the whole football family".

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