Close the cash gap - Doncaster

PUBLISHED: 12:41 08 July 2006 | UPDATED: 09:30 14 September 2010

Closing the gap between the rich and not so rich is the biggest single task facing the Football League, in the eyes of Norwich City's new man on the inside.

Closing the gap between the rich and not so rich is the biggest single task facing the Football League, in the eyes of Norwich City's new man on the inside.

Chief executive Neil Doncaster has just been voted on to the Football League board - an appointment that will run for three years unless City regain their Premiership status. Ipswich chairman David Sheepshanks and Hull chairman Adam Pearson are the other Championship representatives.

And Doncaster admitted that financial matters were likely to dominate the agenda.

He said: “The one big issue is the increase in polarisation of income between the two leagues. This year the bottom club in Premier League will have earned about £20m from TV. The top club in the Championship, just one place behind, will have earned just over £1m.

“With the new TV deal, not this season but the following season, it's likely to be a similar figure in the Championship and maybe £30m or £35m in the Premier League.

“You've got a gap that's widening and the challenge for the Football League is to try to shrink that gap, which is very difficult to do, but also to market the Football League in a way that stresses its positives.

“It's difficult because the Premier League is not a charity. You can grow income and you can continue to lobby for a fairer distribution of football's wealth.

“But can it really be right that the team one place above the top Championship club gets 35 times as much? That distortion can only be bad for the game as a whole.

“It's very difficult to thrive as a business in the Championship and we are very fortunate with the passionate loyalty of our supporters with just under 20,000 season tickets sold, but let's not kid ourselves, the gap financially between the Premier League and Football League is a massive one.”

Doncaster has also become a City director, but says his appointment will not greatly change his involvement at board meetings, although he will now be entitled to vote.

He said: “In terms of how it affects thing day to day, the reality is that I attend all meetings of the board anyway, as does Nigel Worthington and as do all the other senior executives of the club, and that will continue. It's very unusual in this day and age to have a wholly non-executive board, so moving to one executive and five non-executive directors is fine.”

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