first_img The Government has insisted the Premier League must provide financial assistance to the EFL, and has pointed out such help was one of the conditions for it giving the green light to Project Restart over the summer, when the 2019-20 season resumed behind closed doors.Julian Knight, the Conservative MP for Solihull who chairs the DCMS committee, says he agrees football must help itself.“It’s a very unedifying sight when you’ve seen other sports coming together in order to find a way through this crisis,” Knight told Sky Sports News.- Advertisement – “Football has just had a transfer window where they’ve spent £1.2bn, where we have 12-15 EFL clubs in the emergency ward, so to speak, that are in a situation where they could go under.“And having dealt with the aftermath of Bury and seen there the way in which that crushed the community, frankly I’m not really prepared to stand by and at least not do anything about that.“They’ve been given a lot of space, a lot of time. I do know they’re talking now and I would like to think that over the last two weeks while we have set up this meeting that may have focused some minds – let’s hope that it has.- Advertisement – “You never know, they could be now on the cusp of putting a deal together and then we can explore that deal in the committee. Hopefully that will be the case.“But the truth of the matter is that football in this country has for a long time… there’s been a feeling that the governance and the way in which many of those at the top of the game conduct their business and their approach to fans and to the grassroots of the game hasn’t been right.“The Covid crisis has just brought that into the sharpest of focus, so we’re looking forward to the session, and I would imagine it would be – to coin a current phrase – fairly good box office!” Fleetwood Town flag
Mick McCarthy and Jobi McAnuff agree with EFL chairman Rick Parry’s letter to the government asking for financial support 3:31 He added: “It does look to be deeply jarring if you have a situation where you’ve got a deal at the top of the game worth £9bn and then you have football clubs going under for the equivalent of a week’s wage to Gareth Bale, and I’m not singling out Gareth Bale in that respect.“At this particular time there seems to be something incredibly poorly placed with the game and I don’t wish to put particular blame on one of these institutions. I’m coming to the session with an open mind, I’m really keen to hear what they have to say.“Hopefully they’ll come with a plan – that would be absolutely fantastic. The only thing is it’s just a shame that it’s taking so long for them to come together. Other sports have put together plans in much quicker time.”EFL clubs have been particularly hard-hit by the loss of matchday revenue due to the pandemic, with Parry warning several clubs could be forced to fold by Christmas without a rescue package.The EFL says it needs a £250m package to continue to operate and rejected an offer of £50m for League One and League Two sides from the Premier League made up of grants and loans, saying it “fell some way short” of what was required.The Premier League says the offer remains on the table and is ready to engage with any club in financial crisis, but adds it has lost £700m during the pandemic. The committee will also take the opportunity to probe the game’s leaders on the Project Big Picture proposals.These first came to light last month, and would have represented the most significant changes to the English football pyramid since the foundation of the Premier League in 1992 if they had been implemented.Parry publicly supported the proposals, which were developed by Liverpool and Manchester United. Measures such as an immediate £250m rescue package for EFL clubs and a 25-per-cent share in future Premier League media revenues were welcomed by many, but the plans also sought to concentrate power in the hands of the top-flight’s big six clubs.Project Big Picture was described by the Football Supporters’ Association as “a sugar-coated cyanide pill” while the Secretary of State for DCMS, Oliver Dowden, derided it as a “distraction at best” and urged Parry in a committee hearing to ignore this “latest wheeze” and focus on bailout talks with the Premier League.Clarke’s presence before the committee comes amid questions over his role in Project Big Picture.He told the FA Council last month he had been involved in early discussions but walked away in the spring when “the principal aim became the concentration of power and wealth in the hands of a few clubs, with a breakaway league mooted as a threat”.A number of reports have since suggested Clarke was much more centrally involved.Knight said: “I’d like to find out the genesis of it, how it came about, who supports it, who doesn’t support it, why do they support it, why don’t they support it. What was the role of the three bodies that are in front of us, and were there any merits to it?“I understand the way it looked like a power grab, but small elements such as the greater distribution of TV revenues down the game, I thought that was a good idea.” Fleetwood Town chief executive Steve Curwood says only the government can save some EFL clubs from going bust Leaders of English football will face MPs on Tuesday over the failure to agree a coronavirus rescue package for the English Football League (EFL), with Project Big Picture also under scrutiny.Premier League chief executive Richard Masters, EFL chairman Rick Parry and Football Association (FA) boss Greg Clarke have all been called before the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) committee, with proceedings set to take place from 9:30am.- Advertisement – 1:23 – Advertisement –last_img read more

first_imgHowever, there is no hiding the fact the Frenchman has bowed out now due to increasing calls for him to go from frustrated fans as Arsenal slipped further behind their Premier League rivals in recent seasons.Arsenal haven’t won the league since Wenger’s crowing achievement in leading “The Invincibles” to an unbeaten league season in 2003/04.Last season was the first time in 20 years the club didn’t qualify for the Champions League, but they haven’t got beyond the last 16 in that competition since 2010.Languishing in sixth, Arsenal are also on course for their worst-ever league finish under Wenger this season with any hope of Champions League qualification dependent on winning the Europa League.Arsenal Chief Executive Ivan Gazidis said the club would be looking for an offensive-minded coach to follow in the footsteps of Arsene Wenger’s (L) philosophy © AFP/File / Ian KINGTONThe club’s Chief Executive Ivan Gazidis made a long and heartfelt homage to Wenger himself when addressing the media on Friday, but dodged the question several times when quizzed over whether Wenger had walked on his own terms before he was pushed by the board.And Gazidis recognised a decision had to be reached before the season’s end to give Arsenal a head start of finding Wenger’s successor.“It’s going to be a condensed summer with a World Cup in the middle and a shortened transfer window, so I think for all of us having that clarity sooner is better,” he said.– Wide-open field –Former Arsenal captain Patrick Vieira, Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers and Germany coach Joachim Loew are among the front runners with bookmakers in a wide-open field of contenders.Gazidis confirmed Arsenal will look for an offensive-minded coach to follow in the footsteps of Wenger’s philosophy.“It is important to me we continue the football values that Arsene has instilled in the club,” he added.“I want to see somebody who will continue that for our fans…they want to see aggressive, exciting football that gets people interested and excited in the games we play.”Arsenal fans pay the highest season ticket prices in the Premier League and rising discontent with Arsene Wenger has been clearly shown © AFP/File / Lindsey PARNABYGetting the fans back onside and back at the Emirates Stadium is a number one priority.Arsenal fans pay the highest season ticket prices in the Premier League and rising discontent with Wenger has been clearly shown in vast swathes of empty seats for home games since an abject 3-0 League Cup final defeat against Manchester City in February.There is huge pressure on a beleaguered board, led by unpopular American majority shareholder Stan Kroenke, to make the right call.While Wenger’s reign has meandered to a disappointing end, Arsenal’s rivals have surged ahead by recruiting some of the best managers in the world in Pep Guardiola (Manchester City), Jose Mourinho (Manchester United), Jurgen Klopp (Liverpool), Mauricio Pochettino (Tottenham) and Antonio Conte (Chelsea).In spite of Arsenal’s struggles on the field in recent seasons, they remain the sixth richest club in the world, according to financial consultants Deloitte’s annual Football Money League.Wenger’s reluctance to fold to the booming inflation in football transfer fees and wages was often used as a shield by the board for not splashing out despite huge cash reserves.That excuse has now also disappeared ahead of what promises to be a summer of transition at the Emirates.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Arsene Wenger (R) has bowed out now due to increasing calls for him to go from frustrated fans as Arsenal slipped further behind their Premier League rivals in recent seasons © AFP/File / Carl DE SOUZALONDON, United Kingdom, Apr 21 – Arsene Wenger’s decision to step down as Arsenal manager after 22 years in charge marks the end of an era, but also a huge opportunity for the Gunners to reestablish themselves among the elite of English and European football.Tributes poured in from players past and present on Friday, as well as Wenger’s adversaries over the past two decades, such as Alex Ferguson and Jose Mourinho, for his longevity and the revolution in English football he helped inspire.last_img read more