'We need a rescue package': Premier League told to help lower league

‘We need a rescue package’: Premier League told to help lower league clubs out of £200m financial black hole as EFL chief Rick Parry calls parachute payments ‘an evil that needs to be eradicated’

  • EFL chairman Rick Parry was speaking to DCMS committee on Tuesday morning 
  • He addressed the problems the football league are facing during the pandemic 
  • Parry believes EFL need to get help in the form of Premier League finances 
  • ‘We’re heading for a £200million cash shortfall at the end of September’, he said 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

EFL chairman Rick Parry has pleaded for a rescue package from the Premier League with clubs heading for a £200million black hole by September due to the coronavirus crisis. 

Speaking to the DCMS committee on Tuesday morning, Parry made the gravity of the situation crystal clear and called for long-term solutions, also branding parachute payments ‘evil’. 

On a video link, he said: ‘We need a rescue package. We also need to address the longer term or we will back into problems in two or three years, they need to go hand in hand. 

EFL chairman Rick Parry addressed the DCMS committee about the grave situation 

Parry wants the riches available for the Premier League to help struggling lower league sides

‘We’re heading for a £200million cash shortfall at the end of September, that is acute. But we need hope, we need a plan and we need clarity on the long term future. We can’t go from one bail out to another, we need to assess root and branch.   

‘It is not a bailout but we need a reset. Parachute payments are an evil that needs to be eradicated. They give six clubs £40m and the other 18 have £4m each. 

‘Lower down, solidarity is welcome but becomes worth less and less. Not a bail out but we need a reset, things need restructuring.’

Parry went on to reveal the extent to which discussions over a rescue package had taken place and admitted much depends on whether the Premier League can return.  

‘The Premier League has said that if they are allowed to play, they can then talk to us about support for the lower leagues. Discussions to date have been limited I think it is fair to say but we look forward to clarity once more direction on their season. 

The former Liverpool chief continued: ‘I am not sure survival is dependent on PL clubs completing the season but if it gives the PL clarity to come and talk to us it would be very welcome. 

‘As things stand at the moment there is no correlation between the season starting and our clubs surviving. 

EFL clubs such as Wycombe are feeling the squeeze with the season currently suspended

‘The rescue package isn’t in place yet and if restarting the Premier League assists the Premier League, great. But there is nothing in place yet that means money would flow directly from it.’

When asked by the committee who will determine when the EFL clubs will return to action, Parry said: ‘It will go through the clubs, I think the board technically has the power but wholly appropriate it goes to the clubs.’

As it stands, the Premier League are planning for a return to action behind closed doors in June, with players extensively tested for coronavirus and allowed to return to full training from May 18. 

The British government are expected to ease lockdown restrictions with the death toll and number of Covid-19 cases dropping, although a number of players and clubs still have reservations about a return. 

The Premier League will be in a better position to help the EFL once their season resumes

Some are arguing for relegation to be taken off the table but Parry said he is expecting three Championship sides to still go up as there would be messy legal action to deny them promotion. 

He also added that there will be news in the coming days over an EFL restart. 

‘We will return when the government say so – the health of a League Two player is as valuable as a Premier League player.

‘We want no strain on NHS and frontline services. I think the government want to work out when it is safe to return to training and then playing.

‘Players deals end July 31 and that is the cut off point for us. Within days, we need to be taking decisions and what we need is guidance on returning to play and we need that very, very quickly.’

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