Ben Bradley meets Sports Minister to raise concerns of funding for lower-league clubs

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Ben Bradley, Member of Parliament for Mansfield and Warsop, recently joined with colleagues to meet the Sports Minister Stuart Andrew in order to highlight concerns around the funding for lower-league clubs.

During the meeting, Ben and other Members of Parliament presented the Sports Minister with a letter that is being sent to the Premier League regarding the current negotiations between the English Football League (EFL) and the Premier League on the distribution of TV money.

In particular, Ben and his colleagues called for an increase in the distribution of TV money to EFL clubs, such as Mansfield Town in his constituency. Currently 63 of the 92 clubs in the Premier League and EFL record annual losses and are therefore reliant on owner funding in order to remain operational.

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Recent press reports have indicated both a rise in the annual revenue for the Premier league from TV rights and an increase in the percentage that will be passed down to EFL clubs. Ben sought clarity on this from the Sports Minister and pushed home the importance of ensuring EFL clubs are able to benefit from this deal.

Ben and colleagues with Sports Minister Stuart AndrewBen and colleagues with Sports Minister Stuart Andrew
Ben and colleagues with Sports Minister Stuart Andrew

Commenting, Ben Bradley stated: ‘"It was brilliant to meet with the Sports Minister recently alongside colleagues who also want to see lower league football club receive their share of the TV money generated by the Premier league.

"I learned a lot of valuable information on the progress of current negotiations between the Premier League and the EFL and am hopeful that the two organisations can come to a deal for the good of all clubs.

"This all needs to help to ensure that local EFL teams - often the heart of local communities - are viable businesses with sustainable finances. Nobody want to see more Bury-type situations where clubs go bust. Importantly this money will need to spent on the club's infrastructure and financial sustainability, and long term investment in communities. It cannot be spent on inflating wages or agents fees.

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"We've seen Mansfield Town go from strength to strength over recent years, under the Radfords' ownership. Their stewardship of the club, bringing it back to the Football League and hopefully further still, has been brilliant for the town. Additional support from above can only be helpful in boosting the infrastructure and delivering success on and off the pitch.

"I would like to thank the Sports Minister for taking the time to listen to mine and my colleagues’ concerns and I look forward to hearing that a deal has been reached between the EFL and the Premier to help put EFL clubs on a more sustainable financial footing.’