Premier League clubs given new offer to share £900m across football pyramid

<span>Premier League clubs will meet on 11 March to discuss a proposal to share more than £900m in increased funding across the football pyramid over six years.</span><span>Photograph: Valerio Rosati/Alamy</span>
Premier League clubs will meet on 11 March to discuss a proposal to share more than £900m in increased funding across the football pyramid over six years.Photograph: Valerio Rosati/Alamy

Premier League clubs have been presented with a new offer to settle the issue of financial redistribution across the football pyramid, as the culture secretary warned it was in the interest of football to strike a deal before the arrival of the proposed independent regulator.

In what was described as a staging post meeting in London on Thursday, the league’s chief executive, Richard Masters, shared with representatives of its 20 clubs a potential offer to the EFL that would share more than £900m in increased funding across the pyramid over six years. No vote was taken – clubs will consider the proposal before a further meeting on 11 March.

Related: Premier League clubs set to back Uefa-style framework of financial rules

The unexpected announcement of a Premier League shareholders meeting had prompted speculation that that the competition was focused on speeding up decision-making on an issue unresolved for more than two years. It transpired there was no material progress.

As the clubs were talking Lucy Frazer, the secretary of state for culture, media and sport, was repeating an oft-delivered message on the independent regulator. She assured a gathering of industry figures that it would be added to the statute books during this parliament and would have the power to enforce a redistribution deal on the Premier League and EFL if needed.

“We don’t want this to be an issue for the regulator,” Frazer told the FT Business of Football Summit. “It is clear football should resolve the issues for football. It is in the Premier League and EFL’s interests to come to a deal but it is clear if they don’t the regulator will.”

Frazer did not discuss the precise powers the regulator could have to intercede, with details of the potential backstop one of the areas of greatest uncertainty for clubs and organisers as they await the arrival of the football governance bill in parliament. Curiosity over the bill’s contents was shared by a number of figures in the game. Uefa’s Andrea Traverso said “let’s see how it shapes up” when asked about its possible effects on the European game more broadly.

The culture secretary was asked whether legislation would come in front of parliament before the next election, to which she answered: “Yes.” The bill, she said, would be coming “very soon” and she insisted “we are not hanging around”. In the past year since she became secretary of state Frazer has overseen the publication of the white paper into football governance and conducted several rounds of consultation on the bill. As yet, however, few in football know the precise details of what will be in the bill.