Minnows may profit from topflight deals 2009: Jeremy Clarkson

Minnows may profit from topflight deals

Jeremy Clarkson Where am I Each new multimillion-pound contract handed to a superstar by Manchester United and Chelsea would be good news for the

likes of Plymouth Argyle and Barnsley if a new proposal from the Football League becomes reality. The League wants the Premier League to increase its handouts to lower-division clubs in proportion to wage rises at the top level that echo down the divisions and impel smaller clubs to pay salaries that they can hardly afford. The idea forms part of the League&8217s responses to seven questions put to the League, the Premier League and the FA by Andy Burnham, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, seven months ago. Burnham wants English football to re-examine its attitudes towards money and improve competitive balance. The Premier League responded this month, pledging to introduce quotas of home-grown players from 2010-11, and a reply from the FA is expected shortly. &8220There is a ripple effect of very high wages from the Premier League down and it is causing difficulty to Football League clubs,&8221 Lord Mawhinney, the chairman of the Football League, said. &8220If we could address that, it would provide the third logical moral basis for solidarity payments alongside youth development and community.&8221 Burnham wants a more egalitarian distribution of football&8217s wealth. Not surprisingly, the Football League agrees, while the Premier League is less enthusiastic. Its responses to Burnham&8217s questions suggested scant appetite for offering more charity to clubs lower down the food chain. The Football League would also like the Government, Premier League and FA to help it to convince Fifa to scrap transfer windows for domestic moves. Since windows were introduced, League teams have taken a financial hit because Premier League clubs are buying fewer lower-league players and clubs in need of a cash injection cannot sell players whenever they like. However, it is optimistic to think that the FA and the Government would want to take on Fifa in the middle of England&8217s bid to host the 2018 World Cup finals.

After another season in which several League clubs went into administration and suffered points deductions, Mawhinney is moving to tighten the League&8217s insolvency rules. At next month&8217s annual meeting in Portugal, its clubs are expected to approve a proposal to place a transfer embargo on those who fall behind in their tax payments to Revenue & Customs.

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