Ten EFL clubs struggling to pay wage bills, MPs are told

Macclesfield Town
Macclesfield Town were relegated from League Two and then expelled from the National League after being wound up by the High Court.

Ten English Football League (EFL) clubs are struggling to pay wages this month, a parliamentary committee has heard.

The Premier League's proposed £50m rescue package for League One and Two clubs was described as "pitiful" by committee chairman Julian Knight.

EFL chairman Rick Parry hopes a deal with the Premier League can be agreed by the end of the month.

"There are 10 EFL clubs as we understand it who are unlikely to make the payroll this month," said Knight.

He was speaking at a meeting of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Committee, where it was also confirmed the Premier League was preparing to abandon the trial of some pay-per-view matches costing fans £14.95 a time.

"We have listened to feedback and whilst we are not able to announce anything today we will be changing direction and moving away from it and taking another step probably to see us through lockdown, the Christmas period and into January," said Premier League boss Richard Masters.

The Premier League's offer of a £50m bailout package for Leagues One and Two, made up of grants and loans, was rejected by the EFL in October.

"We would very much like to do a deal with the Premier League, we are having constructive dialogue," said Parry.

"It was our League One and League Two clubs last month who, in a gesture of solidarity, said they did not want to abandon the Championship, they wanted a deal for the League as a whole, which was commendable.

"The Premier League has now said that it is prepared to consider the Championship so I think we can move forwards on that basis."

The government has made clear it will not provide a bailout to elite football, but Masters said the Premier League's offer was appropriate and "goes to the heart of the problem".

He added: "The Premier League is engaged and wants to seek resolution but there can't be a blank cheque or an underwriting of losses."

Masters said the Premier League's strategic review would be completed by March and that "change was coming" to the top flight, a situation given a sense of urgency after the leaking of the proposed Project Big Picture.

"We were also contemplating our own strategic review, then the pandemic came and changed everything," Masters said.

"I think the status quo is very unlikely to be unifying or the right way forward so I think change is coming.

"But change needs to be delivered with the development of all clubs and stakeholders."

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