EFL slams Premier League broadcast deal, wants end to parachute payments

(Reuters) - The English Football League (EFL) has hit out at the Premier League after its renewal of domestic broadcast deals, saying it will continue to cause financial issues in the lower leagues of the football pyramid.

Premier League clubs skipped an auction and renewed their existing UK broadcast deals with Sky, BT and Amazon worth around 5 billion pounds ($7 billion) for another three years until 2025.

The league said it had received government approval to renew its broadcast rights without the usual sealed-bids auction among broadcasters due to the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

An additional 100 million pounds in funding will go to teams in the lower leagues over the next four years but the EFL said the deal would "threaten the long-term viability" of the Championship, League One and League Two.

"The current media rights deal will preserve the status quo of an unbalanced, unsustainable and unfair financial distribution model across English football which continues to cause serious financial issues throughout the football pyramid," it said.

"While we recognise the attempts by the government to increase the level of solidarity provided to League One and Two clubs ... what is more urgently required is a fundamental reset of the game's financial model."

The EFL said the government missed an opportunity to ask the Premier League to address the "financial imbalance" between the top flight and the rest of the pyramid and called for the parachute payment system to be abolished.

Clubs relegated from the Premier League receive payments for up to three seasons to help them cope with the reduced income in the second-tier Championship, which has often helped them bounce back and gain promotion the following season.

"It is our strong view that parachute payments are not a form of solidarity and instead provide a reward for relegation while distorting competition," the EFL added.

"They should be halted with the money instead reinvested for the ultimate benefit of the pool and our 72 members."

($1 = 0.7120 pounds)

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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