The Government have turned down a request from the EFL for 22,500 fans to be allowed at the Championship play-off final at Wembley this month, despite having agreed to permit that number for the Champions League final at the same venue on the same date.
While UEFA opted to move the May 29 final to Porto rather than London, after failing to secure quarantine-free travel for guests and operational staff, the Government had indicated they were willing to raise Wembley’s capacity limit from 10,000 to 22,500.
The UK Government has rejected pleas for 22,500 fans at Wembley for the play off finals
As it stands, the attendance for all three play-off finals will be capped at 10,000, as the Government will not increase the number unless the event is a formal pilot with a testing programme.
The row over crowds is the EFL’s second clash with Downing Street this week, after they hit out at the Government’s failure to ensure a greater redistribution of revenue when signing off the Premier League’s new TV deal.
Saturday’s FA Cup final at Wembley will host 21,000 supporters.
The figure had been granted for the Champions League but an EFL request has been rejected
EFL reject use of VAR in the play-offs
The EFL have ruled out using VAR in the play-offs despite repeated requests from several of the clubs involved, with Brentford manager Thomas Frank the most vociferous in criticising the decision.
The EFL argue that as VAR has not been used in their three divisions all season, it would be inappropriate to bring it in for one-off games despite the stakes, with £180million on the line in the Championship play-off final.
The EFL has ruled out using VAR for the play-offs, to the frustrations of hopefuls Brentford
Porto final prize pot takes a hit
Chelsea and Manchester City will be competing for less prize money in the Champions League final later this month as UEFA’s prize fund has been reduced by the costs incurred in moving the match to Porto.
Bayern Munich earned £112million in bonus and broadcast revenue for winning last year’s competition, a sum that is expected to go down this year, while all teams who have competed in the Champions League this season are likely to see their payments from UEFA reduced.
In addition to the costs of hiring the Estadio do Dragao and operating a Covid-secure bubble in Portugal, UEFA must compensate the Turkish Football Federation, who lost the chance to host the final in Istanbul for the second successive season.
Chelsea and City will have a smaller prize pot after the Champions League final was moved
BT Sport set to intensify talks with DAZN
BT Sport executives will intensify negotiations with DAZN, the sports subscription streaming service, over a partial sale of the company after retaining their Premier League rights this week.
The three-year extension of the Premier League deal, which gives BT Sport 52 live matches a season until 2025, puts the network in a stronger negotiating position, because DAZN had been desperate to secure those rights themselves. Amazon, Disney+ and ITV have also had initial talks about buying a stake in BT Sport.
West Brom ownership riddle
A group of West Bromwich shareholders have complained to the Premier League about the time they are taking to investigate concerns about the club’s ownership.
Shareholders For Albion (S4A), who represent minority shareholders who between them own around 12 per cent of the club, first contacted the Premier League last November after documents published by the international companies database Orbis indicated that Guochuan Lai had sold his majority shareholding to Ms Yasha Ge.
West Brom shareholders have contacted the Premier League over investigation concerns
West Brom denied this at the time, so S4A asked the Premier League for clarity.
In their most recent letter to the Premier League, S4A make the point that Lai’s purchase of the club from Jeremy Peace five years ago was approved far more quickly than the current investigation into his ownership.