Peter Ridsdale: Former Leeds, Barnsley and Cardiff chairman says Premier League cash needs to flow down pyramid

Peter Ridsdale
Peter Ridsdale is currently the owner's representative at Preston North End

There is "no better time than now" to "correct" some of the issues around finances in football, says former Leeds chairman Peter Ridsdale.

The 68-year-old, who also had spells as chairman at Barnsley and Cardiff, wants to see "some cash from the Premier League flowing down the leagues".

All professional football in England has been suspended since 13 March because of the coronavirus pandemic.

It has previously been said that the impact on clubs could be "devastating".

Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live, Ridsdale, now the owner's representative at Championship side Preston North End, said: "I do think where we're at at the moment is a real opportunity to try and correct some of the problems with finance within football by seeing some of the cash from the Premier League flowing down the leagues.

"Your bottom team in the Premier League can get £96m, and then another £93m in parachute payments over three seasons, whereas teams in the Championship get £7m, teams in League One get £1.5m, and teams in League Two get £1m.

"That disproportionate flow through of cash has got to be corrected and there is no better time than now."

While top-flight teams can rely on broadcast rights to make up the majority of their revenue, teams lower down the football pyramid rely more greatly on gate receipts.

In March, Mark Palios, chairman of League One Tranmere Rovers, told BBC Sport many clubs "operate hand to mouth" while Portsmouth chief executive officer Mark Catlin said losing ticket sales for the remaining games this season might "tip others over the edge".

Plans to resume the Premier League season will step up this week in what has been labelled "Project Restart" with some clubs returning to training on Monday.

Ridsdale said that EFL clubs have been told to "potentially" prepare for a return to training on 16 May but believes it may be a struggle for some clubs to survive if football finances are not more evenly shared.

"I'm not suggesting that the Premier League give up all their riches, I'm saying merely a smoother distribution to make sure the game as a whole - which is very important throughout the whole country - and all clubs survive," he said.

"If we go on much longer through the current lockdown, many of those teams will disappear. Some through their own fault by how they have been managed, but many just because they can't carry on with no income."

He added: "Surely it's for the betterment of the game as a whole in this country that we have a look at the distribution of the income coming in at the top of the game, to make sure the whole game thrives.

"For the good of the English game as a whole, we have to have a strong football league."

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