Brighton technical director Dan Ashworth defends parachute payments after EFL chief Rick Parry describes them as ‘evil’

Brighton’s technical direction Dan Ashworth insists the club would struggle to survive without parachute payments if they suffered relegation this season.

The financial fabric of the English football pyramid has come under scrutiny amid the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

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Rick Parry [left] spoke to MPs about the financing of the EFL last week
Rex Features

EFL chief executive Rick Parry called for a ‘reset’ last week and described parachute payments as an ‘evil that must be eradicated’ as money fails to trickle down from the Premier League to lower league clubs.

Parachute payments are designed to protect clubs who have been relegated from the Premier League from the steep loss of income which follows.

With top-flight players on more expensive contracts and TV payments significantly less lucrative in the Championship, the initiative provides a safety net.

However, it also gives those clubs a competitive edge over their rivals when it comes to finances, while also resulting in less money going from the Premier League to leagues lower down.

Parry told MPs last week: “We need a complete reset and we need to look at the redistribution of revenues. Parachute payments are an evil that needs to be eradicated.

He told talkSPORT: “Clubs go into medium to long term contracts with their players and if clubs go into relegation, you need that parachute to protect the club when your income is cut drastically.

“It allows you to keep players and push back for promotion, which you could argue is a competetive disadvantage in the league.

“But it also protects clubs from extreme financial hardship. It’s been an area of constant debate and I can see the pros and cons.

“At West Brom, we benefitted from it, but I can see the flip side from other clubs I’ve worked at as well.

Asked if it would be essential for Brighton if the club suffered relegation, he responded: “Yes, it would.”

Meanwhile, talkSPORT pundit Simon Jordan sided with Parry on the debate, calling for an end to parachute payments and a total redistribution of wealth from the top down.

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Simon Jordan had his say on parachute payments earlier today
talkSPORT

He said: “You have to find a way to reset and I think Rick Parry has the ability to do it.

“It involves better negotiation with the Premier League, it involves the removal or parachute payments – which is ironic because Parry helped put them in – the removal of solidarity payments and a better distribution between the Championship and the Premier League which is more equitable, and it can be done without costing the Premier League any money.

“Rick Parry probably has the best opportunity in 30 years to recalibrate the Football League.

“It’s almost like the ugly, ginger-haired stepchild nobody wanted anymore to the Premier League because it’s such a runt of the litter, when really the football league is such an integral part of English football.”


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