EFL chairman Rick Parry has warned the Premier League that they face a ‘very messy’ legal situation if three Championship clubs aren’t promoted this season.
Speaking via videolink to the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee on Tuesday, Parry confirmed that discussions with top-flight officials have led him to believe that promotion and relegation will go ahead as normal, with three sides dropping out of the top tier and three going up.
But the former Liverpool chief admits that ‘the lawyers are going to get wealthy’ if the Premier League go back on their word and don’t welcome the Championship’s top two clubs, plus the play-off winners, next season.
It had been reported that Premier League clubs stuck near the bottom of the table had called for relegation to be scrapped this term in order to maintain the integrity of the division.
But in a boost for the likes of promotion hopefuls Leeds and West Brom, Parry insists that six clubs will switch places – unless the Premier League change their minds.
‘We expect three clubs to be promoted,’ Parry said during an evidence hearing on the impact of the coronavirus crisis on football.
‘In all the conversations we have had with the Premier League, we expect three clubs to be relegated.
‘The lawyers are going to get wealthy if they change their minds. There would be outrage in the Championship.
‘It would be a breach of the agreement between ourselves and the FA. I would expect the FA would have an opinion. The safe answer is it would get very messy.’
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Parry also opened up on the need to complete the current season by the end of July, with around 1,400 players out of contract at the end of June.
‘We want to resume for sporting integrity when it is safe to do so. Decisions will be made on hard fact and data rather than speculation.
‘We will return when the government say so – the health of a League Two player is as valuable as a Premier League player.