Challenging parachute payments and unmasking English football’s finances

Rob Wilson*, Daniel Plumley, Sarthak Mondal, Daniel Parnell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This commentary provides a rapid analysis of the impact of COVID-19 on English football’s finances. The focus surrounds the distribution of wealth and financial disparity between clubs in the English football system leading to overspending and potential insolvency. We consider the impact of broadcast rights distribution, solidarity payments and parachute payments and provide strategic direction for a collective recovery. The intention is to stimulate discussion and analysis on how football governing bodies can use the COVID-19 pandemic to reset the finances of English football. Such discussion provides a more balanced, competitive suite of competitions that tackle financial inequality and put aside self-interest. We reposition the winner takes all narrative, requesting clubs to reflect on the sporting product that has led to both success and failure at an individual club level.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-98
Number of pages6
JournalManaging Sport and Leisure
Issue number1-2
Early online date20 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2022


  • competitive balance
  • covid-19
  • finance
  • Football
  • integrity
  • parachute payments

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