- Masters referred to ‘small clubs’ when talking about the clubs’ spending charges
- The DCMS has published his response in which he seemed to deny the claims
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Masters responded to a question about fairness by insisting that the rules are ‘standard directions for everybody – not just small clubs’.
He has however now responded to the backlash he received from his comments, refusing the apologise and seemingly insisting what he said was not his intention.
The DCMS (Culture, Media and Sport) committee has published Masters’ response, in which he claimed he made a point opposite to what has been perceived as he claimed the Premier League Board is consistent in its application of the rules.
Premier League CEO Richard Masters has insisted he did not intend to call Nottingham Forest and Everton ‘small clubs’
Masters referred to ‘small clubs’ when being grilled about Everton and Nottingham Forest’s spending breaches in front of a parliament select committee
Masters said ‘Everton and Nottingham Forest are valued and respected members of the Premier League’ in a response via DCMS
‘As I said in my evidence, Everton and Nottingham Forest are valued and respected members of the Premier League,’ he said. ‘Both Clubs enjoy successful histories, have strong and passionate fanbases, and make a significant contribution not just to the Premier League’s vibrant competition, but also to their cities and local communities.
‘By reflecting the Committee Member’s framing of the question, I did not intend to suggest otherwise. It would be incorrect to infer from this that there is any unfair treatment based on Club size, as suggested in the Committee’s media statement.
‘Indeed, the point I made was the opposite, in that the Premier League Board applies the Rules consistently, irrespective of the Club in question.’
Nottingham Forest owner Evangelos Marinakis dismissed Masters’ comments in front of the parliamentary select committee last month as ‘careless and not appropriate’ and claimed that the club have conducted research showing their local fanbase is bigger than two million people.
‘I think that was not appropriate,’ Marinakis said. ‘I think it was a bit careless. I think that Nottingham Forest and Everton are very big clubs and maybe are bigger than the ones that we consider today big clubs.
‘Of course we have surveys, extensive ones that examine supporters in the UK that show how big the support is for these clubs. Here in Nottingham and the region around the city it’s about 2.2m people.
Nottingham Forest owner Evangelos Marinakis (pictured) hit back at Masters’ comments
Masters said that he made ‘the opposite point’ in the overall message made about the clubs
‘Big team and small teams is maybe not an appropriate expression. Many teams have a lot of support or have achieved a lot of victories or a lot of trophies.
‘But if you analyse you see who are these teams, these are the teams with the big crowds. Rarely is it teams without a solid supporter base who go on to win a trophy.
‘You see the power of your supporters in the ground and even when you don’t play well the support makes you feel stronger. I think this is very important for our sport.’