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Report: Premier League nears new deal for distributing money to Championship clubs

Overhauled system to allocate funding to second-tier teams on sliding scale.

27 July 2022 Ed Dixon

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  • ‘A New Deal For Football’ aims to reduce ‘cliff edge’ between Premier League and Championship
  • Parachute payments to be reduced from UK£44m given to teams for first season after relegation
  • Alison Brittain announced as Premier League’s first female chair

Clubs in English soccer’s top-flight Premier League are close to agreeing a new system for distributing money to lower leagues and a major reform of parachute payments, according to The Times.

The plan, which is called ‘A New Deal For Football’, has reportedly received broad support from the 20 Premier League teams, with the proposals coming after pressure from the UK government and the fan-led review of soccer by Tracey Crouch, which was published last November.

According to The Times, the new system will allocate cash to clubs in the second-tier Championship on a sliding scale of funding based on where they finish in the table, similar to the merit payments in the Premier League.

There will also reportedly be a new system of cost control to prevent lavish spending.

Parachute payments, a sum of money given to teams relegated from the top flight to compensate for loss of revenue, are set to be heavily reduced from the UK£44 million (US$53 million) given to clubs for the first season after they go down.

The thinking behind this is that it would help reduce the ‘cliff edge’ between the Premier League and the Championship.

The details of the new deal are yet to be finalised but The Times adds that there was a general consensus on the principals.

Other proposals are said to be around infrastructure grants for clubs in the English Football League (EFL), which consists of the second, third and fourth tiers of English soccer. These would see the Premier League provide ringfenced funding for capital projects such as improvements to stadiums and training grounds.

These measures would look to stop the extra money just being spent on player transfers and salaries, and fuelling inflation in the domestic game. Premier League clubs are purportedly worried that too many Championship clubs are spending above their means.

The overhaul in the Premier League’s relationship with EFL comes as Alison Brittain has been named as the new chair of the top flight.

Brittain, who will take over from interim chairman Peter McCormick early next year, succeeds Gary Hoffman who stepped down over his handling of the Newcastle takeover by a Saudi Arabia-backed consortium.

Brittain becomes the league’s first female chair and will depart as chief executive of hospitality company Whitbread to focus on her new role.

The 57-year-old was a member of the last three prime minister’s advisory boards and a former chairperson of the Financial Conduct Authority practitioner panel.

Brittain remains the senior independent director at business services firm Experian and was recently announced as chair designate of retail company Dunelm Group. She has previously worked for Barclays, Santander and Lloyds Banking Group during a career in the financial services sector.

Brittain’s other current roles include deputy chairperson and trustee of the Prince’s Trust Council.

The appointment means the two most senior positions in English soccer will both be women after Debbie Hewitt was confirmed as the first chairwoman of the Football Association (FA).

“I have been a football fan since I was a child and so am absolutely delighted to be appointed chair of the Premier League,” said Brittain.

“The game is of enormous national importance, is loved by so many people around the world and can have a tremendous positive impact on communities.

“It will be a real privilege to be able to help to develop plans for the future and work with all the key stakeholders in the game to ensure its long-term sustainability and success.”

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