EFL calls for independent action to sort out revenue distribution deal with non-Premier League clubs from Leeds United to Harrogate Town

The Football League says the failure of the Premier League to even offer a new deal for how its money should be redistributed shows the need for such decisions to be taken independently.

It is nearly five years since the Government published their general election manifesto which promised the introduction of a regulator to direct English football, and called for the Premier League and the Football League (EFL) to come to an agreement about how revenues were shared, or else it would become the job of the new body.

Whatever those involved might have pretended at the time, the main driving force behind the creation of the Premier League in 1992 was to ensure the country's top clubs were able to control their own television and marketing deals without having to answer to clubs in the three divisions below.

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Since then, England's top division has become comfortably the most lucrative in domestic world football.

In fairness to the Premier League, it already shares around £110m of revenue with the Football League's 72 clubs in solidarity payments with more passed down the pyramid, and into women's and youth football.

But the majority is directed in "parachute payments" to clubs recently relegated from the top flight, and although the intention is to prevent the sort of damage clubs such as Leeds United have in the past when suddenly losing Premier League income, the main effect is causing disparities and financial problems.

Three of the Championship's top four teams were relegated last season, meaning Leeds, Leicester City and Southampton are subsidised to the tune of approximately £44m each this year, whilst the three teams who took their place – which includes Sheffield United – are currently in line to be relegated, unable to bridge the financial and with it footballing gap.

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DISAGREEMENT: The Premier League has been unable to make the Football League an offerDISAGREEMENT: The Premier League has been unable to make the Football League an offer
DISAGREEMENT: The Premier League has been unable to make the Football League an offer

The Premier League had been expected to offer a new settlement to the Football League this month, but with internal arguments about how much each club should contribute, they failed to reach an agreement.

After a board meeting on Thursday, the Football League clubs voiced their dissatisfaction with "their repeated failure to put forward any new funding offer for EFL clubs that would have significant benefits for the entire football pyramid" and tried to increase the pressure for a resolution.

There has been much debate over what strings might be attached to a Premier League offer but the EFL insists its clubs "remain ready and waiting to consider and conclude a new arrangement", adding: "Whilst it has been expected on a number of occasions, the lack of positive progress once again demonstrates how difficult an issue this is for football to address, without independent input. "

With many of its clubs in financial peril, the Football League has long lobbied to receive 25 per cent of income generated by the top division.

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It says it is waiting for a "formal update" from the Premier League over what the latter has called “a sustainably funded financial agreement with the EFL”.

With another general election due in the next 10 months, the legislation to create a regulator is yet to come into law but there does seem to be a will across the political spectrum to do it.

The EFL are anxious to ensure it is more than just a box-ticking exercise.

"It is now more important than ever that the independent regulator is provided necessary powers to secure the long-term sustainability of the pyramid," it said. "In particular, it is really important that work commences on the much-needed State of the Game Review at the earliest possible opportunity as this will provide the objective basis for a sustainable football model."

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