Premier League Masters 'confident' that a bailout for English football will be agreed

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Premier League chief executive Richard Masters is 'confident' that a bailout for the English Football League will be agreed soon and revealed that a long-term structural review of the game is to be completed by end of March 2021.

Masters, EFL President Rick Parry and England Football Association President Greg Clarke testified at a hearing of the Parliamentary Special Committee on Digital, Culture, Media and Sports aimed at understanding why the game's key figures failed to secure a financial deal to protect the future of all 92 clubs.

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EFL has said it needs £ 250million from the Premier League to make sure no club goes bankrupt in the 2020-2021 season.

Teams in the lower leagues have seen their incomes drop dramatically due to a lack of supporters in stadiums since March, with initial plans for supporters to return in October being scrapped and no time frame offered for their return with the team. 'England in the middle of four weeks. national lockdown.

DCMS Chairman Julian Knight said the government was aware of 10 EFL clubs that would not be able to pay full salaries at the end of the month and called the offer $ 50 million from the Premier League to the EFL of "pitiful" and "farce". especially in light of the £ 1.2bn Premier League clubs spent in the summer transfer window.

"The Premier League is committed and wants to find a solution, but there can be no blank check or subscription for losses," Masters said.

“We believe our proposal is appropriate and gets to the heart of the matter and is consistent with government policy on how it treats other sectors.

“We think we are stepping up and helping the football pyramid, we haven't found a deal with Rick yet but I'm confident we can do it.

“I don't think our proposals are pitiful. We can make money available to clubs that need it and we can work with the EFL to make sure that the funds go to the right places to prevent clubs from going into distress or going to the point of administration.

“We are big supporters of the pyramid and understand its importance. "

The Premier League's £ 50million offer focuses on clubs from League One and League Two, but Parry confirmed the offer was turned down because the teams in those leagues have shown 'solidarity' with second level championship teams, for which no formal offer has yet been made.

Masters said the Premier League were now considering helping Championship clubs with Parry adding that a "constructive dialogue" was underway.

The Premier League is also continuing a strategic review of the game in the broad sense despite the rejection of a vision of the future created by several leading clubs, the EFL and the FA, labeled "Project Big Picture", rejected in October.

The plans detail a series of changes, including removing the EFL Cup and Community Shield, reducing the Premier League from 20 to 18 teams, and redistributing a larger share of TV revenue to the EFL while by aiming to adapt to the European proposals for modifying the Formats of the Champions League and the Europa League.

“Just to clarify if I wanted to participate in formal discussions with the FA and EFL in February, I declined as it also involved a small number of Premier League clubs and I can only participate in processes supported by the 20, ”Masters added.

“So we played no role in the development of 'Project Big Picture'. At this point, before the pandemic, we were considering our own strategic review. The pandemic has hit everything and changed everything, as we all know.

“What we have announced over the past two weeks is actually a relaunch of our strategic review with a tighter timeline and a broader approach to address all of the issues that have arisen during the pandemic.

“The change is coming, but the change has to be made with the development of all clubs, whether they are in the Premier League or in EFL. All stakeholders must be involved. While the 'Big Picture Project' emerged in the midst of this, all of our 20 clubs are now supporting a strategic review. We invited the FA to participate and the EFL as well. "

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