‘It just puts off the problem’ – Port Vale chief executive’s concern for clubs



Port Vale could receive advanced payments from the Premier League to help clubs while the season is suspended.

The Premier League has voted to release £125m to the EFL and the National League. However, Port Vale chief executive Colin Garlick has warned that, while the idea could help some clubs with cash flow problems, advancing payments that would normally have been received later in the year isn’t a long-term solution.

In the case of Vale and other League Two clubs, they would normally receive £225,000 from the Premier League in ‘solidarity payments’ in August and again in January 2021.

The Vale chief executive is scrutinizing the proposals but said: “It is coming through to me that this is advanced monies, such as the solidarity payment that we would normally get in August 2020, then the second payment in the January. 

“It is that money and it is coming early, but for me it just puts off the problem to another day.

“It may help in the short term and does give clubs the opportunity to maybe sell a player or have a cup run.

“But we would typically go into a season, budget our cashflow, and have that money in August. So, it won’t be there in August.

“There is also youth development money that we get as part of a grant and is done on a monthly basis. But again if that is advanced monies, that would be monies coming from another season.

“So, yes it does help with your cashflow, but the problem doesn’t go away.”

Meanwhile, reports say Premier League clubs will ask their players to take a 30 per cent pay cut to assist with the payment of non-playing staff during the coronavirus pandemic.

Premier League shareholders met on Friday and confirmed talks will be held with a view to wage cuts.

It was also acknowledged that the season could not begin in May, with the restart date to be kept under constant review.

Vale’s chief executive says decisions affecting players should be taken with the agreement of leagues and the players’ union, the PFA.

He said: “I think there is a willingness to try to act together. I think it is important that anything we do, we do together, and I would stress in particular with regard to the PFA.

“We are unsure as to what is happening with the PFA and what they are prepared to give and not give, but I know discussions are ongoing between the Premier League, the FA, the EFL and the PFA with regards to players.”

He added: “Anything we do, we would want to do in the right and proper way. That’s by allowing the powers that be to do the negotiations and try to reach a sensible agreement given the unique set of circumstances we are in.”

Garlick says clubs are having difficulty planning and budgeting because they don’t know when the season can restart.

He said: “We are at a point whereby we have paid all our staff everything that we are due, and that is what we want to continue to do.

“But the longer this goes on…….and we don’t know when it is going to end because there is so much uncertainty at the moment.

“I am sure we are going to start playing at some point but we just don’t know when. If we had that certainty then you could plan around that but we really are having to adjust day by day and deal with it.”

Meanwhile, the Premier League say £20m will be committed to the NHS, and others left vulnerable by the pandemic.

It comes after Premier League captains reportedly discussed how best to help support and fund the NHS during the coronavirus crisis at a meeting on Friday.

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