May 22, 2020 / 8:50 AM / 14 days ago

Premier League restart will boost EFL finances: Brighton chief

Tottenham Hotspur chairman Daniel Levy and Brighton & Hove Albion chief executive Paul Barber inside the stadium before the match Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Couldridge

(Reuters) - Completing the Premier League campaign and getting the new season underway will see much-needed funds flow to clubs in the lower divisions who are struggling due to the COVID-19 shutdown, Brighton & Hove Albion CEO Paul Barber has said.

Football has been suspended since mid-March due to the novel coronavirus outbreak but the Premier League hopes to restart next month, initially without fans attending, after the government opened the door for elite sport to return.

EFL clubs rely much more than Premier League teams on matchday revenue and ticket income and its chairman, Rick Parry, has said playing games behind closed doors could actually be a loss-making venture for some teams.

“If we can finish this season, get next season under way, then all of the solidarity payments that go through the Premier League to the lower levels will hopefully give those guys a boost as well and enable them to get through a very difficult period,” Brighton’s Barber told reporters.

Top flight teams voted to make an advance of 125 million pounds ($152.68 million) to the English Football League (EFL) and National League sides last month, which included early solidarity payments and parachute payments. [nL8N2BR5RR]

“There are a lot of mouths to feed and there’s not an easy solution... other than getting the games back on as soon as we can, and when it is safe,” Barber added.

“That will then start to turn the economy within football which enables us to make those distributions further down the game.”

($1 = 0.8187 pounds)

Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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