By Nick Harris
4 August 2010
The Premier League has today confirmed a record “handout” funding package for the Football League worth £124m per season for the next three seasons, and has confirmed “parachute” payments for relegated clubs will increase from £16m per year for two years to £48m spread over four years.
The sharing of the top division’s riches to a slightly greater extent than previous should help to close the gap – albeit in a small way – between the Premier League and the rest of English football. The biggest beneficiaries will be clubs who tumble from League, as Blackpool are already favourites to do before they have even begun their debut season in the elite.
A League statement says: “The move follows the agreement by the Football League, at their EGM, to vote in a series of rule changes in regard to financial regulation, transparency of ownershipand ground criteria.”
The Premier League chief executive, Richard Scudamore, said: “The financial strength of the Premier League has always benefitted the entire English game, but we are taking the unprecedented step of formalising arrangements so that the solidarity payments and the alignment of rules – in some fairly critical areas – are linked.
“The Premier League clubs felt strongly that a stronger Championship would be greatly beneficial to both competitions. It is a fact of life that we welcome three of their number each season and helping make sure those clubs coming up are prepared – both on and off the pitch – for life in the Premier League was something we felt these measures would achieve.
“The extra revenue – £2.2m per Championship club, £335,000 per League 1 club and £225,000 per League 2 club – coming in every season for the next three will make an enormous difference to the individual incomes of those clubs, but more importantly will make planning for the future that much easier.
“The rule changes have not just been a one-way street. Where we felt the Football League’s were stronger we adopted them into the Premier League Rule Book – for example the Owners and Directors Test now precludes anyone who has been banned by another sports’ governing body or professional body. My firm belief is that a stronger, more closely aligned set of rules for the Premier League and Football League will serve English professional football well.
“Having common rules in areas such as player contracts, third party ownership of players, and public disclosure of club ownership is something we have worked towards for a number of years and we are pleased that the Football League have voted them in today.
“The Football League solidarity package, combined with our new £6m funding of the Football Conference and our ongoing £15m per season commitment to the Football Foundation shows that we take our responsibilities to every level of the game very seriously. There is no other league structure in Europe that can boast such levels of redistribution.
“With such levels of investment and unity of purpose in Youth Development and financial regulation the long-term prospects for the English game – at every level – should be very positive.”
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