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Parachute payments questioned


Established Premier League clubs want to tighten the system of parachute payments for relegated clubs to stop unscrupulous owners making off with the vast sums of money on offer. Changes and even cuts to parachute handouts are likely to be proposed at the Premier League’s annual meeting in the first week of June. On Thursday, Premier League shareholders have their next regular get-together and the subject is likely to be discussed informally, although it is not on the prescribed agenda.

Parachute pay could be worth more than £90m for clubs relegated this season and the concern among many Premier League clubs, including leading lights such as Manchester United, is that certain owners and chairman are abusing the system.

They highlight Blackpool, who, under controversial owner Karl Oyston, spent just £3.5m on players during a season in the top flight in 2010-11 and made minimal investment in wages. Burnley’s thrift in 2014-15 is also noted: the Clarets went down after keeping transfer outlay below £10m. 

Hull City are the subject of concern. Assem Allam is trying to sell and offloaded players in January, making only a small investment in replacements. There is a view Allam would be sanguine about relegation given the £75m in parachute money coming Hull’s way should they go down.

The parachute discussion forms part of a wider debate among Premier League clubs who are looking at whether the money is shared out fairly in football’s richest competition. Another focus is whether big clubs should be entitled to more, given their global appeals, of the £3bn currently netted from overseas television deals.