Premier League under pressure again by MPs over why £50m Football League bailout not agreed amid coronavirus pandemic

PREM boss Richard Masters has again been asked by MPs to explain why the £50m lower division bail out has not been agreed.

Masters and EFL chairman Rick Parry were both grilled by the DCMS all-party select committee last week over the continued stand-off.

PA:Press Association

Richard Masters has come under pressure to solve the financial crisis that’s hit the football pyramid[/caption]

Committee head and Tory MP Julian Knight said he would send out public letters to both men on a weekly basis until the situation was resolved.

And now Knight has published the first batch of correspondence, telling both the Prem and EFL MPs are “disappointed that you have not yet come to an agreement that will ensure the survival of football clubs through the current pandemic.”

Knight added: “There is enough money in the game to save football clubs but we are beginning to doubt whether there is enough leadership to make that happen. 

“We urge you to stop squabbling and come to an agreement. 

“Fans have been waiting too long. 

“We expect, and the fans deserve, better.”

SunSport revealed that Championship clubs gave the green light for the League One and Two sides to take advantage of the bail out after the Prem made a £200m loan offer for the EFL top flight.

But Parry and his clubs are demanding the entire £50m is in the form of a grant, rather than just the first £20m with the rest on a loan, as the Prem proposed.

PA:Press Association

EFL chairman Rick Parry was grilled by the digital, culture, media and sport committee [/caption]

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden and Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston both put extra pressure on Masters and Parry yesterday, insisting it was an obligation on football to sort out its Covid-19 problems.

The Government is ready to green light a “fan-led review” of the game, and intends to use the Covid crisis stand-off as the starting point and justification for the process.

Prem chiefs point out that by making 40 per cent of the money a grant, with the other 60 per cent a no-interest loan, they are actually offering Leagues One and Two better terms than the Government has in its new £300m sports “winter survival package”, which is demanding repayment of £250m at “low commercial rates”.

But Knight warned: “We are losing patience. 

“Fans have waited a long time for a solution that would safeguard their clubs but all they can see is squabbling at the top of the game. Football and its followers deserve better.

“The current fiasco in reaching an agreement isn’t about the lack of money, but lack of leadership.

“We’re putting the current leaders of the Premier League and the EFL on notice. We want to be kept in the loop about every discussion, every meeting, every call, every email, to save clubs at risk. 

“Nothing should be withheld from the Committee, and so that fans can see what’s going on, we’ll make these updates public.

“The predecessor DCMS Committee called for legislation to bring in an independent system of football licensing and regulation if the game wasn’t able to reform itself. That time may be fast approaching.”


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