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Dons delegation lead the way for fan-led review

25 June 2021

AFC Wimbledon has called for a complete overhaul of football funding which would see parachute payments ripped up.

Our proposals were heard on Wednesday when a club delegation made an official presentation to the Government’s fan-led review into football.

Top of our list was the call to end parachute payments with the money being redistributed to clubs that are run well and pass a new ‘Sustainability Index’.

Parachute payments are currently paid to clubs that get relegated from the Premier League. This figure is projected to be £212.5m for the upcoming season, split between just six clubs. Sheffield United alone will receive £46.75m.

In contrast, the remaining 64 clubs in the EFL (the two relegated clubs are not included) are projected to share 122.3m between them in solidarity payments, with AFC Wimbledon due to get £760,000.

Some Championship clubs pay over 200 per cent of their club revenue on players’ wages alone. Not only is that unsustainable, it has a huge knock-on effect to the rest of the pyramid as clubs try to catch up.

Dons Trust board member Niall Couper was part of the three-strong delegation, which included chief executive Joe Palmer and Dons Trust co-chair Xavier Wiggins. He explained the plan.

“The current system rewards failure and is simply unsustainable,” said Niall. “At the moment there are only two types of businesses that budget for losses each year: Start-ups and football clubs.

“That needs to change and we believe this review offers the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to do that.

“We need to encourage clubs to run well. The longer the current failed system is in place the more likely we are to see clubs collapse – a scenario we are obviously far too familiar with.

“The parachute payments should be placed into a central pot and allocated to clubs on the basis of good governance.

“Our proposal to Tracey Crouch, the MP leading the review, was simple. To get a share of the pot, clubs must pass four tests: Real-time financial sustainability; clear and transparent governance; community engagement; and equality standards.

“It is not rocket science, but it could be a real game changer for football and make sure club’s like our own are around for another 100 years secure in their own communities.”

Read our presentation in full.

Individuals can also send in their own evidence, thoughts and suggestions to the review by contacting the panel directly. E-mail: Footballgovernancereview@dcms.gov.uk .


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