Rival EFL clubs at war over Premier League's bailout cash

Rival EFL clubs at war over Premier League’s bailout cash due to controversial ‘monitored grants’ and how £15m to cover loss of fans inside stadiums will be distributed

  • The Premier League have agreed a £250m bailout package with the EFL
  • The finer points of how the money is used between clubs is still being discussed 
  • A meeting on Thursday is set to see clubs clash over a number of different issues

EFL clubs are set to do battle at a meeting on Thursday to discuss the Premier League’s bailout package.

Rows are brewing over controversial ‘monitored grants’ some fear will challenge the integrity of the game, and over how £15million aimed at covering lost gate receipts is distributed.

As part of the wider £250m agreement with the Premier League in the wake of the financially crippling pandemic, sides in Leagues One and Two can apply for handouts from a £20m ‘monitored grant’ fund which will be based on need.

EFL clubs are at loggerheads over the Premier League’s bailout ahead of Thursday’s meeting

Those who ask for assistance will need to show that without a cash injection — which could be up to a seven-figure sum — they would be in danger of going out of business. They will then be subject to a number of strict measures, including transfer restrictions.

However, if they can meet the criteria they will not have to pay back what could be a substantial amount. That has prompted concerns from clubs that their rivals could attempt to secure the funds and then use them in an underhand manner.

A chief executive at a League One club explained: ‘It would be very easy for a club to create a need very quickly, thanks to a couple of bank transfers. They then make a case to the EFL, get up to £1m and away they go. It seems that those of us who have acted in a fiscally responsible manner could end up being at a disadvantage.’

At what could be a feisty meeting, a number of clubs are set to voice their concerns.

‘The view is that some use this to create a playing field that is not level,’ the source added. ‘That cannot happen — it raises huge integrity issues.’

EFL chairman Rick Parry has to find a way of getting clubs on the same page about the bailout

Clubs in League One will receive a minimum of £375,000 and those in League Two will get at least £250,000. A further £15m will be distributed using a lost gate revenue share calculation, which will be approved by the EFL and Premier League. The precise formula is yet to be agreed.

Clubs with bigger fanbases, such as Sunderland and Portsmouth, are unhappy that the initial £15m will be divided equally, so are lobbying hard to receive the bulk of the second payment on the grounds that their losses during the pandemic and ongoing liabilities are far greater. 

It has even been claimed that some of the smaller clubs in League Two could end up better off following the Premier League handout than they would have been had crowds been permitted all year. 

Sunderland and Portsmouth are unhappy that the initial £15million will be divided equally 

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