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EFL clubs’ ‘venomous’ opposition to latest New Deal terms triggers emergency Premier League summit

EFL clubs’ ‘venomous’ opposition to latest New Deal terms triggers emergency Premier League summit
EFL clubs’ ‘venomous’ opposition to latest New Deal terms triggers emergency Premier League summit

Football League clubs have warned ministers of mounting concern over the terms of long-awaited financial help as the Premier League holds emergency talks to finally thrash out a deal.

After years of discussions, the 20 top tier clubs meet to debate cost controls and other stipulations as they finalise their “New Deal” offer on Feb 29. Time is running out to agree a package independently as Lucy Frazer, the Culture Secretary, publishes the Football Governance Bill handing a watchdog powers to impose its pyramid support model.

However, while Premier League clubs finally hope for a breakthrough over the coming weeks, Government officials have been told at recent meetings that there remains some “venomous opposition” within the EFL. The retention of parachute payments “along with proposed cost control changes that will enable relegated clubs to spend even more” has emerged again as major points of contention.

“It’s pretty catastrophic,” said one source close to talks with the EFL. There is some frustration among Premier League clubs that parachute payments are being raised as a concern again. Top tier executives confirmed they had notified their clubs of a summit on Feb 29.

An agreement will be voted on as soon as the league believes clubs are nearing necessary numbers to vote through final terms on a package which is expected to cost them £900m-plus over six years. Politicians have become increasingly involved in talks as clubs attempt to secure progress.

The Premier League said after its previous shareholder meeting that talks were “productive”. “To build on this momentum, conversations between clubs from the two leagues will now continue over the coming weeks,” the competition added. “A good working session was also held on the design and implementation of a new financial system for the Premier League.”

Telegraph Sport detailed in November how one major point of contention had been the so-called Big Six disagreeing with rivals over whether the top clubs will be contributing enough to the bill. Smaller clubs proposed a year ago that the richest teams should accept a greater share of costs, potentially through a transfer tax.

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