There is no doubt there is significant money available in the Premier League – but for the 72 Football League clubs outside the Premier League that financial gulf is increasing all the time. Premier League clubs are living on significant riches, while teams in League One and League Two are struggling to survive.
More and more clubs are entering administration and a few high profile clubs have been lucky to survive winding up orders from the HMRC. It simply doesn’t seem right that on one end of the football spectrum Chelsea are spending £50 million on Fernando Torres and on the other clubs are struggling to survive. There is certainly an argument for a more equal distribution of wealth.
At the end of last season Norwich City received in the region of £25,000 in prize money for winning the League One title. Prize money in the Championship is only slightly better – however getting into the Premier League at least allows clubs to get a slice of the financial pie. Finishing in 20th place in the Premier League is in itself lucrative; prize money goes into the millions. Furthermore clubs who get relegated from the Premier League will now receive increased parachute payments of £48 million over four years since relegation. With prize money, increased TV revenue, increased gate receipts and other extra costs, Premier League football in said to be worth £90 million over four seasons – even if the club is relegated in their first season.
There is certainly plenty of debate on parachute payments and if they are really fair. They give a huge advantage to clubs who were recently in the Premier League and make it difficult for the rest of the Championship to compete. There is a danger of divisions occurring in the Championship like they have in the Premier League. But the real question here is why the Premier League deserves so much money – while the Football League gets so little?