Premier League clubs prioritise new financial system but fail to agree funding deal for the EFL

No offer of increased funding has yet been made to the EFL (Getty Images)
No offer of increased funding has yet been made to the EFL (Getty Images)

No offer of increased funding for the EFL was forthcoming from Premier League clubs following a shareholders' meeting in London on Monday.

Top-flight sources had expressed hope prior to the meeting, which could have been decisive after what was described as a 'staging' meeting on February 29.

However, the meeting ended without an offer being made, with the top-flight's clubs feeling it is first essential they thrash out a new financial system which will ultimately replace the current profitability and sustainability rules (PSR).

A six-year deal granting the EFL 14.75 per cent of net media revenue with the Premier League - projected to be worth in the region of £900million - has previously been mooted, but Premier League clubs are now prioritising an agreement on their own financial model before speaking to the EFL.

The Government has repeatedly said it wants the football authorities to agree a new financial settlement amongst themselves, but has warned that one could be imposed upon them by 'backstop' powers set to be given to the new independent regulator.

A Premier League spokesperson said on Monday: "At a Premier League shareholders' meeting today clubs agreed to prioritise the swift development and implementation of a new league-wide financial system.

"This will provide certainty for clubs in relation to their future financial plans and will ensure the Premier League is able to retain its existing world-leading investment to all levels of the game.

"Alongside this, Premier League clubs also reconfirmed their commitment to securing a sustainably-funded financial agreement with the EFL, subject to the new financial system being formally approved by clubs.

"The league and clubs also reaffirmed their ongoing and longstanding commitment to the wider game which includes £1.6 billion distributed to all levels of football across the current three-year cycle. The Premier League's significant funding contributions cover all EFL clubs and National League clubs, as well as women and girls' football, and the grassroots of the game."

The EFL has declined to comment, and is expected to discuss the issue at a board meeting later this week.

One source with close knowledge of the situation in Government told the Daily Telegraph the situation is "absolutely shambolic given they briefed over the weekend that it would definitely go to a vote, and they have been 'quietly confident' it would pass for the last 10 days".

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has also been contacted for comment.

The Premier League is looking at a system more closely aligned with the squad cost to revenue ratio contained within UEFA's Financial Sustainability Regulations (FSR).

Those regulations will eventually limit clubs participating in European competitions to only spend 70 per cent of revenue on transfer fees, player wages and so on.

The Premier League has been looking at a model enabling clubs to spend up to 85 per cent of revenue on squad cost, with a sliding scale of penalties in place where clubs exceed that ratio.

However, there is no guarantee that the new financial model will even be signed off at the league's annual general meeting in June.