PL could give EFL bigger share and still be richest league says Rotherham chief

The Premier League will still be the most lucrative division in Europe even if it accepts the recommendations of the Fan-Led Review of Football Governance, a Championship club’s chief executive has said.

It has been one year since the release of the report which resulted in 10 strategic recommendations, including the creation of a new independent regulator for the game and fairer financial distribution throughout the English football pyramid.

No agreements have been made yet, but the Premier League was recently given a mandate by its clubs to negotiate a new deal with the EFL and the Football Association.

Rotherham chief executive Paul Douglas says increasing the EFL’s share of the Premier League pot up to 25 per cent will not hurt the top 20 clubs.

“That is the case the EFL is trying to make,” he said. “We don’t believe this change will fundamentally affect the Premier League’s ability to continue to be the strongest division in Europe.

“It won’t mean that the Premier League drops down against the likes of LaLiga and the Bundesliga.

“The numbers are staggering in terms of how much more money the Premier League is paying in terms of wages. It is more than the rest combined.

MP Tracey Crouch led the independent Fan-Led Review of Football Governance
MP Tracey Crouch chaired the independent Fan-Led Review of Football Governance (Jonathan Brady/PA)

“What we’re approaching if we’re not careful is a situation where the same clubs come up and down, up and down, from the Premier League. That won’t be good for the Premier League.

“Before long it will be the same three clubs and it will be a miraculous event for another club to break into. That won’t be good for the Premier League.

“It’s definitely in the best interests of the game to see the pyramid structure strengthened and made more sustainable and make the transition between the Championship and Premier League more realistic.

“The Premier League haven’t run gleefully to those discussions and it’s only in the last couple of weeks that the clubs have confirmed they have mandated the Premier League to start these discussions.”

Douglas, who helped Rotherham recover from two administrations in the late 2000s and turn into a club that yo-yos between the Championship and League One, says the fairer distribution will make the pyramid more sustainable and see fewer clubs further down the chain run into financial difficulty.

“The effect of the increasing power of the Premier League and the revenues they are able to generate has skewed the entire EFL and is making the pyramid less sustainable and fragile,” he added.

“It’s very frustrating. Fundamentally the EFL’s position has been with fairer distribution and better regulation we can create a healthy sustainable pyramid and one in which clubs like ours can look forward to a sustainable and secure future without having to look around for the next person to come along and bankroll them.”

The key finding of the review, chaired by MP Tracey Crouch, was for the creation of an independent regulator, something Douglas agrees with.

“Unfortunately, I think we have to accept the game hasn’t done enough to avoid the need for independent regulation and it is with a bit of reluctance that I say that,” he said.

“The game has approached this in a mature way and a way that shows a certain amount of understanding.

“The nature of football with the ever-changing ownership models, it is very difficult to get a consensus within that group and a removed body that will hopefully be consensual and listen to what people are saying could be beneficial.”