Cardiff City chairman Mehmet Dalman has put his weight behind the promotion bids from West Brom and Leeds United, saying it would be a “travesty” if the season was ended early after the two clubs had invested so much money in getting to the Premier League.
He also went on to say that the Premier League should be giving more of their TV money to Championship clubs, who add to the excitement of the division through promotion and relegation.
Talking in the Times, Dalman said, “The idea we will not finish the league [proposals for curtailing the season will be discussed by the EFL board on Wednesday] is absurd as that would leave clubs like Leeds and West Brom in a difficult position because they have invested a lot to get the promotion spot.
“Not finishing the season — even if it’s in September or October and even if you scrap next season to do so — would be a travesty.
“The Premier League, without relegation, would not be so exciting and the Championship makes a huge contribution to promotion and relegation. Why is it therefore that the Premier League does not give some of the television money to the Championship?
“They’re sitting on, what, £1.5bn of cash [the top flight’s reserves according to latest financial results]. Give 20 per cent of that. If you distribute that on an even basis throughout the Championship the whole financial position changes.”
These comments from Dalman echo those of Andrea Radrizzani and others in the game like Gary Neville who have complained about the chasm in finances between the Premier League and the Championship.
They’re especially refreshing coming from Dalman, whose club is still getting parachute payments from the Premier League.
Both Dalman and Radrizzani want to get rid of parachute payments, a view that was echoed by EFL chairman Rick Parry earlier in May when he said they were an evil that had to be eradicated.
He also makes a very good point about promotion and relegation – a big part of what makes the Championship so exciting.
Given the massive investment that Leeds have made – the annual wage bill is close to £50m at Elland Road, a figure Radrizzani has said is unsustainable in the Championship – if the season was ended early and promotion and relegation blocked from the Premier League, it would be a “travesty” and we don’t imagine Leeds would take it lying down.
In other Leeds United news, ‘Encouraging signs’ – Alan Shearer hails development that sends big boost to Leeds promotion bid