Monday, April 22, 2024

Charlton chief accuses Palace and West Ham of delaying Premier League-EFL deal

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 12 Mar 2024

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Charlton co-owner Charlie Methven has demanded executives from Crystal Palace and West Ham “grow up” and accused the London clubs of stalling a deal between the Premier League and the EFL.

Monday’s shareholders’ meeting in London ended without an offer being made, with focus instead shifting to first overhauling the Premier League’s financial system to replace the current profitability and sustainability rules.

An element of the new system was agreed at the meeting, but a mooted 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 – was not voted on.

Methven told talkSPORT: “There are a few Premier League clubs that are holding the industry back and are driving the rest of the industry mad for only thinking of their own short-term, narrow self-interest. Frankly, everything else is just noise.

“It’s on record that Palace and West Ham are leaders of this King Canute-style movement. It’s not yet a matter of public record which clubs they’ve persuaded to be in their corner.

“If you speak to executives from other clubs in the Premier League, they are almost as frustrated as we are. They know because they see a bigger strategic vision of what will happen with the public regulator.

“(Palace and West Ham need to) grow up. Remember that these clubs, the clubs they run, were very recently Football League members and the fact that in a game of musical chairs they are in the seats they are currently at.

“It doesn’t mean that at some point their clubs won’t be back in the Football League.”

The PA news agency has contacted Palace, West Ham, Charlton and the Premier League for comment.

Methven is one of seven Charlton shareholders with more than a five per cent stake in the club, which was purchased by Global Football Partners’ UK subsidiary SE7 Partners in July 2023.

Some feared Monday’s meeting was the last chance for the leagues to come to a deal on their own before the football governance bill, which will effectively establish an independent regulator, is put through Parliament, although the timeline for this remains uncertain and could be compounded by a general election.

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

Dame Caroline Dinenage, the chair of the Culture, Media and Sport committee, told PA on Tuesday: “The longer this deadlock goes on, the more the stated commitment from Premier League clubs to striking a deal with the rest of the pyramid looks like nothing more than an empty promise.”

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.

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

Methven added: “The situation is quite clear, it’s understood by the Football League that any deal would come with strings attached, the Championship likely to subscribe to a different cost control scheme.

“That was always understood and understood by the EFL that we would have swallow a few pills to get the deal done.”

A statement released by the Premier League after Monday’s meeting said its clubs “re-confirmed their commitment to securing a sustainably-funded financial agreement with the EFL, subject to the new financial system being formally approved by clubs”.

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