Leaders of English football will face MPs on Tuesday over the failure to agree a coronavirus rescue package for the English Football League ...
Leaders of English football will face MPs on Tuesday over the failure to agree a coronavirus rescue package for the English Football League (EFL), with Project Big Picture also under scrutiny.
Premier League chief executive Richard Masters, EFL chairman Rick Parry and Football Association (FA) boss Greg Clarke have all been called before the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) committee, with proceedings set to take place from 9:30am.
The Government has insisted the Premier League must provide financial assistance to the EFL, and has pointed out such help was one of the conditions for it giving the green light to Project Restart over the summer, when the 2019-20 season resumed behind closed doors.
Julian Knight, the Conservative MP for Solihull who chairs the DCMS committee, says he agrees football must help itself.
"It's a very unedifying sight when you've seen other sports coming together in order to find a way through this crisis," Knight told Sky Sports News.
"Football has just had a transfer window where they've spent £1.2bn, where we have 12-15 EFL clubs in the emergency ward, so to speak, that are in a situation where they could go under.
"And having dealt with the aftermath of Bury and seen there the way in which that crushed the community, frankly I'm not really prepared to stand by and at least not do anything about that.
"They've been given a lot of space, a lot of time. I do know they're talking now and I would like to think that over the last two weeks while we have set up this meeting that may have focused some minds - let's hope that it has.
"You never know, they could be now on the cusp of putting a deal together and then we can explore that deal in the committee. Hopefully that will be the case.
"But the truth of the matter is that football in this country has for a long time… there's been a feeling that the governance and the way in which many of those at the top of the game conduct their business and their approach to fans and to the grassroots of the game hasn't been right.
"The Covid crisis has just brought that into the sharpest of focus, so we're looking forward to the session, and I would imagine it would be - to coin a current phrase - fairly good box office!"