EFL to create Independent Financial Unit after Derby County woe

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  • Trevor Birch
    English footballer (born 1958)
EFL to create Independent Financial Unit after Derby County woe
EFL to create Independent Financial Unit after Derby County woe

The English Football League is launching an Independent Financial Unit in a bid to prevent a repeat of the crisis to engulf Derby County and limit the scope of a Government-appointed regulator.

Telegraph Sport can reveal the EFL is also planning to introduce a form of wage control in the Championship and real-time monitoring of second-tier clubs’ finances similar to systems already in place in Leagues One and Two.

League chiefs are confident this, coupled with the new IFU, will help stop Championship sides breaking financial fair play rules and spending more on wages than they make in revenue.

On Monday, the EFL issued a job advert for the head of the IFU, which is also being set up in a bid to end the kind of lengthy and costly legal battles over rule breaches committed by Derby and other clubs.

The unit will also police club takeovers and administer the EFL’s owners’ and directors’ test with the aim of convincing the Government those powers should remain within the game and not be transferred to an independent regulator.

Trevor Birch, the EFL’s chief executive, told Telegraph Sport plans to create the IFU predated the Government’s Fan-Led Review of Football Governance.

He also said it was important the league took action to prevent more clubs following Derby into administration while legislation – which could take months or years to come into force – to bring in an independent regulator was being drawn up.

“We think we need to act now,” he told Telegraph Sport, stating he aimed to have the IFU in place in time for next season.

Stopping Championship clubs spending beyond their means could compound the competitive advantage already enjoyed by those receiving Premier League parachute payments and the EFL was last night in talks with the world’s richest league over a new model to replace them.

The EFL has been pushing for the two organisations to pool their broadcast income, which would see lower-league clubs share 25 per cent of the total pot.

That would still leave the Premier League by far the richest league in Europe.

The fan-led review proposed a stamp-duty style tax on top-flight transfer fees but Birch said the EFL would prefer a less “arbitrary” redistribution model.

Dismissing arguments by the likes of Aston Villa chief executive Christian Purslow that Tesco would not bailout a local corner shop, Birch said: “Having a strong EFL is important, ultimately, to the Premier League.

“That’s not wanting to take anything away from the Premier League because we all realise its value and its huge success and would want to support that. We just feel that there would be benefit in having a stronger and sustainable EFL.”

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