Premier League clubs want Championship sides to commit to developing young British loan talent as part of a restructuring of the finances in the English game.
At a lengthy shareholders meeting in central London on Tuesday plans for “a new deal for football” were discussed which would bring changes to the controversial parachute payments system and greater redistribution down the pyramid, including investment in infrastructure at League One and League Two grounds.
In return Premier League clubs would like better opportunities for their young players to develop. Frustrated by the lack of competitiveness at under-23 level, and with Brexit having reduced loan opportunities in Europe for British players, the lower leagues are an increasingly important place for player development.
Some directors, however, feel that the more physical demands of lower‑league football are not best suited to developing Premier League skills, particularly among players who have not fully developed physically. They believe this could change, perhaps if Championship sides were obliged to field a certain number of under-23 players in their first teams.
Such ideas chime with the Football Association’s ambition to further reinforce development pathways for potential England internationals and come as the game attempts to find a collective solution to the challenges raised by the fan-led review of football governance. The government has promised to publish a white paper laying out terms for introducing an independent regulator into the English game by the end of the summer. Some within football feel they are in a holding pattern, however, with government effectively paused as the Conservative party seeks a new leader.
The Premier League is confident the pieces are now in place for a response to one of the government’s key demands: an increase in redistribution from the top flight down the leagues. The overall level of funding is likely to increase, with Championship clubs receiving money determined by their league position. This will mean clubs relegated from the Premier League still avoid the “cliff edge” of a massive drop in TV revenue, but there will be less disparity with the rest of the second tier, a key problem for the EFL.
Whether merit payments will apply to League One and Two clubs remains unclear, but top-flight clubs are expected to commit to explicit funding arrangements for improving infrastructure for clubs in those divisions.
No decision was taken by clubs on voluntarily removing gambling sponsors from the front of shirts. But the Premier League did confirmed the identity of its new chair, with Alison Brittain taking up the role from the interim chair, Peter McCormick,early next year. Brittain joins from Whitbread and has served on the prime minister’s advisory board on economics.
“I have been a football fan since I was a child and so am absolutely delighted to be appointed chair of the Premier League,” Brittain said
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