Neville accuses Premier League of negligence after failure to vote on EFL support

SALFORD co-own­er Gary Neville has accused the Pre­mier League of neg­li­gence towards the rest of Eng­lish foot­ball and brand­ed the fail­ure to agree a new fund­ing deal for the EFL as an “absolute dis­grace”.

Monday’s share­hold­ers’ meet­ing in Lon­don end­ed with­out an offer being made as top flight clubs feel the pri­or­i­ty is to thrash out a new finan­cial sys­tem to replace the cur­rent prof­itabil­i­ty and sus­tain­abil­i­ty rules (PSR).

A six-year deal grant­i­ng the EFL 14.75 per cent of net media rev­enue with the Pre­mier League – pro­ject­ed to be worth in the region of £900million – has been moot­ed but clubs are focused on get­ting their own house in order first.

“I am more inter­est­ed in the vote they didn’t have, which was to sup­port the rest of the Foot­ball League which they keep bump­ing down the road and it’s an absolute dis­grace,” the for­mer Man­ches­ter Unit­ed defend­er-turned-pun­dit told Sky Sports.

“It is about the wel­fare of the game and the sus­tain­abil­i­ty of the whole league.

“The Pre­mier League at this moment in time are neg­li­gent in their dis­mis­sive nature, just push­ing it down the road, think­ing ‘maybe a reg­u­la­tor will sort it, maybe we’ll sort it’ and not doing any­thing.

“That’s not good gov­er­nance, it just demon­strates to me that they are not look­ing after the whole game like they should be.

“It angers me every time I see they have a Pre­mier League meet­ing and seem to look after them­selves but not look after the rest of foot­ball.”

The Pre­mier League, which ear­li­er out­lined its stance in a state­ment, made no com­ment when con­tact­ed by the PA news agency for a response to Neville’s remarks.

The Gov­ern­ment has repeat­ed­ly said it wants the foot­ball author­i­ties to agree a new finan­cial set­tle­ment among them­selves, but has warned that one could be imposed upon them by ‘back­stop’ pow­ers set to be giv­en to the new inde­pen­dent reg­u­la­tor.

A Pre­mier League spokesper­son said on Mon­day: “At a Pre­mier League share­hold­ers’ meet­ing today clubs agreed to pri­ori­tise the swift devel­op­ment and imple­men­ta­tion of a new league-wide finan­cial sys­tem.

“This will pro­vide cer­tain­ty for clubs in rela­tion to their future finan­cial plans and will ensure the Pre­mier League is able to retain its exist­ing world-lead­ing invest­ment to all lev­els of the game.

“Along­side this, Pre­mier League clubs also recon­firmed their com­mit­ment to secur­ing a sus­tain­ably-fund­ed finan­cial agree­ment with the EFL, sub­ject to the new finan­cial sys­tem being for­mal­ly approved by clubs.

“The league and clubs also reaf­firmed their ongo­ing and long­stand­ing com­mit­ment to the wider game which includes £1.6 bil­lion dis­trib­uted to all lev­els of foot­ball across the cur­rent three-year cycle. The Pre­mier League’s sig­nif­i­cant fund­ing con­tri­bu­tions cov­er all EFL clubs and Nation­al League clubs, as well as women and girls’ foot­ball, and the grass­roots of the game.”

The EFL has declined to com­ment, and is expect­ed to dis­cuss the issue at a board meet­ing lat­er this week.

One source with close knowl­edge of the sit­u­a­tion in Gov­ern­ment told the Dai­ly Tele­graph the sit­u­a­tion is “absolute­ly sham­bol­ic giv­en they briefed over the week­end that it would def­i­nite­ly go to a vote, and they have been ‘qui­et­ly con­fi­dent’ it would pass for the last 10 days”.

The Depart­ment for Dig­i­tal, Cul­ture, Media and Sport has also been con­tact­ed for com­ment.

The Pre­mier League is look­ing at a sys­tem more close­ly aligned with the squad cost to rev­enue ratio con­tained with­in UEFA’s Finan­cial Sus­tain­abil­i­ty Reg­u­la­tions.

Those reg­u­la­tions will even­tu­al­ly lim­it clubs par­tic­i­pat­ing in Euro­pean com­pe­ti­tions to only spend 70 per cent of rev­enue on trans­fer fees, play­er wages and so on.

The Pre­mier League has been look­ing at a mod­el enabling clubs to spend up to 85 per cent of rev­enue on squad cost, with a slid­ing scale of penal­ties in place where clubs exceed that ratio.

How­ev­er, there is no guar­an­tee that the new finan­cial mod­el will even be signed off at the league’s annu­al gen­er­al meet­ing in June.

Leave a Reply