PL, EFL to face panel over lack of COVID rescue package

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - League Two - Carlisle United v Crewe Alexandra - Brunton Park, Carlisle, Britain - October 12, 2019 Rick Parry, the new EFL Chief Executive (L) in the stands Action Images/Paul Burrows

(Reuters) - England's soccer chiefs are set to face members of parliament next week to discuss why no agreement has been reached on a bail-out package for lower-tier clubs facing financial strain amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The English Football League (EFL), representing the three divisions below the Premier League, last month rejected a 50 million pounds offer from the top flight saying it wanted a deal which covered all of its teams.

The Premier League said its offer was for League One and League Two and not for second-tier Championship clubs.

British media reported that Premier League chief executive Richard Masters, EFL chairman Rick Parry and Football Association chairman Greg Clarke will meet a Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) committee on Tuesday.

"It's a very unedifying sight when you've seen other sports coming together in order to find a way through this crisis," DCMS chair Julian Knight told Sky Sports.

"Football just had a transfer window where they've spent 1.2 billion pounds where we have 12-15 EFL clubs in the emergency ward ... that are in a situation where they could go under.

"... They've been given a lot of space, a lot of time. I do know they're talking now and I would like to think that over the last two weeks while we have set up this meeting that may have focused some minds, let's hope that it has.

"You never know, they could be now on the cusp of putting a deal together and we can explore that deal in the committee."

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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