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Opinion

Tax on Premier League transfers could have raised over £250m to help EFL clubs survive

1 month ago
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Is there a duty for Premier League clubs to help out those in the leagues below?

I would hope for the fans of the 20 clubs it would be an easy answer.

That answer being, the 20 Premier League clubs should do absolutely everything in their power to ensure that every single club in the leagues below, survives the impact of the virus situation.

The Tuesday announcement by Government that the return of (some) fans to stadiums in October is now suspended indefinitely, is a blow to Premier League clubs, however, it could well be a fatal one for many in the divisions below, as matchday income makes up such a high proportion of their revenues.

Boris Johnson saying that restrictive measures to help deal with the spread of the virus could be in place for six months, which could very likely mean very few games, if any, this season will have any paying supporters inside stadiums.

The response from Premier League people hasn’t been universally supportive of the idea of doing whatever it takes to help the clubs below.

The Guardian quoting two differing views:

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard:

“It’s important the Premier League as a collective looks at supporting the Football League, the leagues below and grassroots football, because that’s the base of why we’re all here.”

Burnley boss Sean Dyche:

“If you are going to apply that rule of thumb, does that mean every hedge fund manager that is incredibly successful, are they going to filter that down to the hedge fund managers that are not so successful?”

League Two Tranmere Rovers vice-chair Nicola Palios though, spelled out exactly to BBC Sport, just what it could mean for so many clubs, fans and the local economies if Premier League clubs (and Government) don’t do everything they can to help:

“A lot of clubs were already having financial difficulties before this pandemic started and this may sadly tip some of them over the edge.

“If a rescue fund isn’t forthcoming you’ll see a devastating impact in terms of loss of clubs and job losses.

“It’s not just job losses within the clubs themselves, it’s all the other businesses in the local area that are supported by them and survive because of them.”

It is interesting seeing somebody like Sean Dyche being less than sympathetic, considering he played his entire career in the lower divisions. If those clubs hadn’t existed, would he have had a career in football.

It gets even more bizarre when you consider that Sean Dyche is manager of Burnley, a club that are anything but top tier constants down the years.

Only half a dozen clubs have been constants in the Premier League in the PL era, with everybody else (who has ever been in the Premier League) having played at least as low as Championship football.

Indeed, Burnley are one of nine of the current twenty Premier League clubs, who have played in the third tier of English football, from 1999 onwards.

Burnley last playing in the third tier in 2000, Leicester 2009, Man City 1999, Brighton 2004, Leeds 2010, Wolves 2014, Sheffield United 2017, Fulham 1999 and Southampton 2011.

These clubs especially with very short memories if happy to see lower division clubs go to the wall.

People claimed that Premier League transfers would fall off dramatically this summer.

Nothing could have been further from the truth.

Including today, there are still 13 days left of the transfer window and already around £1billion has been spent on Premier League transfers by the 20 top tier clubs. That is some 70% of the way towards beating the record of £1.4billion in a single transfer window. This window may not set a new record but it will have got plenty close.

I see no reason why Premier League clubs shouldn’t have had a special tax on transfers this season.

Whatever they spend on players, maybe an amount representing 25% of that total having to be paid by the Premier League clubs into a fund to help subsidise the clubs in the divisions below.

So if Chelsea want to spend £200m on transfer fees this window, then they have to also pay £50m (25% of £200m) into that EFL emergency fund.

If £1billion is spent on transfers, a 25% tax would straight away be raising £250m.

It is obscene that Premier League transfers could total well over £1billion just in this window, yet those 20 top tier clubs could collectively turn around and say there is not enough money to go around in these tough times.

Same with wages to be honest, about time the PFA really got it sorted and got all Premier League players to do their bit to help, with a proportion of their wages for this season going to help keep players in lower divisions in jobs, so they don’t face their lives falling apart.

Yes you can say Government, the FA, the leagues, the clubs etc etc should all be doing whatever BUT it also comes down to personal responsibility. If you have far more money than you need, why not for a limited period WANT to give some of it to those who are struggling?

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