Premier League to extend parachute payments


LONDON: Payments designed to cushion the blow of relegation from the lucrative English Premier League (EPL) will total 48 million pounds (US$78 million) over four years if new proposals come into force.The scheme, which was discussed by Premier League chairmen on Thursday, needs the agreement of the Football League, the governing body for the three     divisions below the English top-flight, to become a reality.

But, if enacted, it would see the so-called “parachute” payments made over four years rather than the current two.

Clubs relegated to the second-tier Championship this season will receive 16 million pounds a year for    two years, while under the new proposals demoted clubs would get 16 million pounds for each of the first two years and then eight million pounds for each of the second two years.

No vote was taken by the Premier League chairmen on Thursday – a final decision is set to be reached at their June meeting once an agreement with the Football League has been reached.

West Ham co-owner David Gold said the plan would help English football at all levels.

“It’s percentages of the available TV money which is a standard process and that has traditionally been 50 per cent for the first two years and now we’ve got          an additional 25 per cent for years three and four, which I think is excellent and I’m delighted,” Gold said.

“I think a total for the four years would probably amount to somewhere in the region of 48 million pounds.”

But a club like Portsmouth, already relegated after being docked nine points last month for entering administration and with acknowledged debts of     over 76 million pounds, are set to have to make do with ‘just’ 32 million pounds as the new scheme is not designed to take effect until the end of next season. — AFP