Valerie chairs EFL Meeting with MPs

On Wednesday 11 January 2023, I chaired a meeting for MPs and Football Clubs in the Midlands Region with the English Football League (EFL).  This was the sixth meeting the EFL has had with MPs, to set out proposals to each region that makes up the EFL. Representatives from Midlands-based football clubs were present.

Rick Parry the Chair made a presentation on the EFL’s plan to make clubs in the EFL sustainable and not dependent on owner funding.  There is a massive increase in value the Premier League has had since its inception in 1992 and the subsequent widening of the financial gap between the Premier League and EFL. 

The discussions are on going for a fairer financial distribution between clubs and the impact of parachute payments to teams recently relegated from the Premier League. The meeting was a useful discussion in securing a more sustainable future in English football and how the EFL can help achieve this goal. All of us are waiting for the Government’s White paper on the response to the Tracey Crouch MP’s Report on the Fan Led Review. The Government said they are hoping to make an announcement shortly and by the end of this month. One of the key recommendations was an independent regulator. 

The Walsall Football Club Co Chairman Leigh Pomlett put forward the following points :-

  • We support the Fans Led Review particularly the redistribution of wealth and the appointment of an Independent Regulator.
  • WFC is a community club working with 40 local schools and many physical and mental health programmes throughout the year.
  • The wealth needs to be more equitably distributed throughout the football pyramid to ensure the health of football.
  • The distribution model is currently hugely inequitable leading to very poor running of football clubs and bad ‘chasing the dream’ decision making.
  • We are not looking for a bail out as WFC had been profitable 23 out of 24 years only COVID taking the club into losses.
  • We simply want the football pyramid to be healthier and guard against the next ‘Bury’.
  • Independent Regulation is needed to ensure Football behaves as the consequences of failure are considerable and impact thousands of people.

The picture above shows me with Rick Parry.