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‘Narrow self-interest’ – Charlton Athletic shareholder hits out at Crystal Palace and West Ham over EFL funding

Charlton Athletic shareholder Charlie Methven has accused Crystal Palace and West Ham of having a “narrow self-interest’ and holding the EFL back.

The Premier League announced a major shake-up to their profitability and sustainability rules on Monday, with Everton, Nottingham Forest and Manchester City all having ongoing cases.

A six-year deal granting the EFL 14.75 per cent of net media revenue with the Premier League – projected to be worth in the region of £900million – had previously been broached.

But the meeting between the top-flight clubs ended without an agreement on a new deal for EFL funding.

Speaking to talkSPORT, the former Sunderland executive director explained: “This is just a bunch of jargon words to paper over the fact that they they haven’t done what they said they were going to do.

“They told the EFL they would come back with a comprehensive offer. They told the government to come back with a deal that would be appropriate for the problems that the government have outlined themselves, and they failed to do so.

“Their communications department has been put into action to try and come up with some words that will somehow pull the wool over enough people’s eyes and kick the can down the road a little bit further and allow those clubs who are holding out against it, to live and breathe for another day.

“The majority of Premier League clubs are fully realistic and know this deal has to be done. 

“It’s a minority of clubs who are holding out against it and are holding the industry back.

“Everyone knows who leads those clubs. It’s two clubs not too far from Charlton – one a little bit to the north and one a little bit to the south west. They have got, at the moment, just enough other clubs to stop the industry from moving forward.

“The situation is quite clear, it’s always understood by the Football League that any deal would come with some strings attached. The Championship would likely have to subscribe to a different cost control scheme.

“That was always understood and understood by the EFL that we would have swallow a few pills in order to get the deal done.

“There was a deal presented to us by Premier League back in September, which we voted to accept. It included that we would have to ascribe to a new cost control scheme.

“That’s absolute baloney.

“There are a few Premier League clubs who are holding the entire industry back and are driving the rest of the industry mad because all they’re thinking of is their own short-term, narrow self-interest. Frankly, everything else is just noise.”

Palace have been in the Premier League for 11 straight seasons since winning promotion via the play-offs in the 2012-13 season.

West Ham have been in the Premier League since going up through a play-off win over Blackpool at Wembley in the 2011-12 campaign.

When asked to specifically name the two clubs who are holding this back, Methven said: “It’s on record that West Ham and Palace are leaders of this King Canute style movement to try and prevent the industry moving forward. It’s not yet a matter of public record of which clubs they’ve persuaded to join them to be in their corner.

“If you speak to executives from other clubs in the Premier League, they are almost as frustrated as we are by this. They know because they see a bigger strategic vision of what will happen with the new Goverment public regulator.

“It’s probably more likely to end up with a scenario they all dread, which is a comprehensive reformation of the parachute payments, which would make a difference to these guys.

“I would ask them to grow up and remember that these clubs, the clubs they run, were very recently Football League club members. The fact that in a game of musical chairs, they are currently sat in the seats that they’re currently sat, doesn’t mean that at some point their clubs won’t be back in the Football League and in a position where an equitable distribution of English football’s total revenue would actually be an extremely welcome thing for them.”

The South London Press has contacted Crystal Palace for comment.

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