EFL clubs reject Premier League's £50m bailout

Clubs from the Championship, League One and League Two have turned down the Premier League’s £50m bailout – and have told the EFL board they will decline any help which excludes any of its members.

The Premier League has offered grants and interest-free loans totalling around £50m to clubs in League One and League Two – but has made no funds available for clubs in the Championship.

The CEO of one Championship club told Sky Sports News that the bailout offer is “simply an attempt to create a divide between Championship clubs and those in Leagues One and Two.”

He said there was a “collective spirit” amongst clubs not to get separated by a deal designed to “divide and rule”.

A statement from the EFL released on Thursday evening read: “EFL clubs have today met by division to discuss the conditional offer put forward yesterday by the Premier League in respect to the financial support required as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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“The need for continued unity across the membership base was fundamental to discussions across all three divisions, and therefore there was a strong consensus that any rescue package must meet the requirements of all 72 clubs before it can be considered in full.

“The League has been very clear in its discussions of the financial requirements needed to address lost gate receipts in 2019/20 and 2020/21, and while EFL clubs are appreciative that a formal proposal has now been put forward, the conditional offer of £50m falls some way short of this.

“The EFL is keen to continue discussions with the Premier League to reach an agreeable solution that will address the short-term financial needs of all of our clubs and allow us the ability to consider the longer-term economic issues in parallel that specifically look to achieve a more sustainable EFL for the future.”

Despite EFL clubs rejecting the offer, it is understood the financial package from the Premier League remains on the table for any EFL club that wishes or needs to utilise it.

Following Thursday’s meeting of League Two clubs, one club official told Sky Sports News that the bailout on offer was unacceptable in its present form and “now is the time to stick together”.

“We simply can’t accept anything which excludes any of the 72,” he said.

Masters: No beef with EFL

The Premier League’s chief executive Richard Masters admits there has been frustration over the public backing of Project Big Picture, but insists there is “no beef” with the EFL.

Masters described Wednesday’s meeting as “candid, constructive and positive in the end” and denied any suggestion the proposals may have damaged the reputation of the league.

“Clearly there’s some frustration a proposal that hadn’t had any input from the Premier League, from our clubs, has been pushed so hard in public,” he said.

“But we don’t have a beef with the EFL, certainly not with its clubs. We want to have a good relationship with them. We’re their biggest partner.

“We have a historic relationship with them. So we want it to be constructive.”

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