In the midst of harsh criticism from lower level English clubs, the Premier League has decided to increase parachute payments to relegated clubs to $90.6 million over four seasons from $73.7 million. As England’s top flight mulls a much smaller increase in the “solidarity payments” it hands out to the rest of the country’s soccer hierarchy, Football League One (third division) club Preston North End launched a scathing attack on the EPL’s parachute payment system.
"Let no one doubt that the Premier League do not give a damn about the Football League,” reads a statement from the club. “To win the playoff final to the Premier League guarantees circa [$184 million= one season in EPL + 1 year of parachute payment] and yet a [second division] club who do not receive parachute payments receive circa [$6.1 million]. This is financial suicide.”
In fact, the EPL has proposed increasing solidarity payments as follows: Championship (second division) clubs would receive $3.5 million annually (up $178,000), League One (third division) clubs would receive $552,000 per year (up $33,500), and League Two (fourth division) clubs would receive $367,500 per year (up $18,300).
The Preston statement continues: "League One and League Two clubs don't stand a chance of surviving, let alone competing, without a benefactor. ... At a time when there is more money coming into football than ever before there appears to be less and less of the financial cake being distributed to the Football League.”