Premier League clubs should increase the amount of money they give to lower league clubs and consider the the idea of sharing gate receipts again, a government committee said on Wednesday.
The All Party Football Group says the increasing gap between rich and poor within the English game needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency with a radical redistribution of finances seenn as the best way to tackkle the issue.
The report is also urging the Premier League to consider introducing a wage cap
Last August, Sky secured the rights to live Premier League matches for the next three seasons for £1.024bn. The Premier League currently gives five percent of that amount to clubs lower down the pyramid – but the All Party Group suggests it should be doubled to 10 percent.
The group has also receommended that clubs share reintoroduce the system whereby clubs share gate receipts. The decision to end shared gate receipts from league matches a decade ago is regarded by many as the catalyst for much of the financial trouble suffered by a number of clubs over the years.
The group also wants research carried out into the transfer window, introduced by UEFA last year and restricting the periods when players can be bought and sold.
It also supported penalties for clubs going into administration, saying wage-capping should be considered and recommending the introduction of a “fit and proper person test” for those in charge of clubs with immediate effect.
“Football is richer today than ever before, but more clubs than ever before are going to the wall. Why? It was this paradox that our inquiry looked to answer,” said Alan Keen, chairman of the parliamentary group.
“After nine months of detailed investigation, we have concluded that the financial divide between the ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ must be tackled urgently.
“However, it is not good enough just to throw money at lower league clubs without reforms to ensure they are run better in future.”
Football’s financial plight has come further under scrutiny following the situation at Leeds United. The Premier League club, who three years ago reached the semi-finals of the Champions League, are now in debt to the tune of £80m and face the risk of going into administration.
* More re-distribution of TV money within the Premier League
* Consultation between football authorities and all clubs on the re-introduction of gate-sharing
* Wage-capping to be considered by Premier League
* Supporters’ views represented at board level
* All professional clubs to have budgets approved two seasons in advance
* Future Premier League contracts to include limited number of games to be broadcast by free-to-air channels
* A majority of a club’s home league fixtures to kick off at 3pm on a Saturday