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Premier League clubs ready to bail out stricken EFL – but at a hefty price

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Premier League clubs are ready to bail out the crisis-hit EFL – but it will come with a heavy price.

Clubs want guarantees over key issues including no relegation if the season is curtailed and are also pushing for a strict salary cap in the Championship.

That comes on top of other issues like support on post-Brexit, home grown quotas and other strategic alignment on TV deals and commercial contracts.

The Premier League are only discussing a loan with a low interest rate rather than actual cash and Mirror Sport has also been told the £200m figure which has been reported is “over the top.”

It could throw doubt over whether an agreement can be reached for the Premier League fat cats to come to the rescue of EFL clubs who are facing financial ruin after the Government delayed the return of fans because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Any potential bail out offer would have to be voted on by Premier League clubs and it must be stressed that the conditions are the view of some clubs rather than all but there are some influential voices insisting they must get guarantees before any proposal is agreed.

A source at a Championship club said it was effectively Premier League teams trying to turn the top flight into a “closed shop” with the threat of relegation removed.

Relegation became a huge issue when the Premier League was suspended last season with clubs railing against it but now discussions on what happens in the event of curtailment are back on the agenda – and the threat could be removed.

They also believe the Prem clubs want to impose a strict wage cap at Championship level so it would be harder for clubs to break into the elite.

Mirror Sport understands some clubs in the Premier League are willing to help but there are a lot of dissenting voices who insist they have their own problems.

That comes on top of Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston warning that there will be no Government bail out and it will be up to the “top tiers” of elite sport – such as the Premier League – to support each other.

Huddleston said: “We recognise the impact of the decisions this week to delay the re-opening of stadiums over the winter will have on sport.

“The government will now work at pace with sports to understand the issues faced by organisations facing the most challenging circumstances and assess what further support may be required.

“Where it can we will expect the top tiers of professional sport to look at ways it can support itself, with the government focusing on those most in need.”

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