English Football League: Clubs 'reliant on owners', says EFL chief

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EFL chief executive Shaun Harvey was managing director of Bradford City when they achieved promotion to the Premier League in 1999

Football needs “to look at how it treats the owners at some of its clubs” as without them, fans “wouldn’t have a club”, says departing English Football League chief executive Shaun Harvey.

Harvey said costs across the 72 EFL sides were going up but owners were being “roughed [up] and ridiculed in certain quarters”.

“Championship losses are getting bigger,” he said.

“We have a business model that relies, just about, on owner funding.”

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live’s Sportsweek, he added: “Those owners are either benevolent, looking after their local clubs who they have supported for many years, or are investing to try to achieve the big prize that Aston Villa and Derby are going to play for this time.”

Villa and Derby County will play in the Championship play-off final on Monday in a game Harvey said was worth £170m for whichever team won and was promoted to the Premier League.

The match will be played against the backdrop of football finance expert Kieran Maguire calculating EFL clubs “made a loss of £388m last year”