The row over the abolition of FA Cup replays intensified on Friday, with the EFL accusing the Football Association and the Premier League of sidelining its clubs from the decision-making process.

Here the PA news agency looks at the situation more closely.

What has happened?

The EFL released an explosive statement on Friday afternoon saying the agreement announced between the FA and the Premier League on the new format and funding for the FA Cup was “a further example of how the EFL and its clubs are being marginalised in favour of others further up the pyramid” which “only serves to threaten the future of the English game”.

A number of EFL clubs and some from lower down the pyramid have also criticised the lack of consultation on the issue. One of them, League Two side Bradford, said that although retrospective consultation was still necessary, it would be “nothing more than an insult”.

What has the FA said?

Football’s national governing body said it “understands the concerns” expressed in the last 24 hours and said it would be “sharing more details with clubs very shortly to explain the additional revenue opportunities in the early rounds”.

It added that the EFL had been involved in discussions about replays for over a year and that “all parties accepted they could not continue”. The FA also pointed out that the calendar changes were approved by its Professional Game Board (PGB) which includes four EFL representatives.

So the EFL backed the changes?

The EFL insists the abolition of replays from the FA Cup was “agreed solely between the FA and the Premier League”. It said its PGB representatives did challenge the position on replays and were told that clubs would be “comfortable” without them. The EFL added: “Any decisions taken on the calendar involving EFL representatives are in no way an endorsement of the joint deal agreed between the FA and Premier League that imposes changes to the FA Cup competition format in isolation.”

The FA, EFL and Premier League were in discussions over the so-called “New Deal For Football” to agree new financial settlements and changes to the domestic calendar in response to fixture pressures caused by UEFA expanding its club competitions from 2024-25. However, the EFL statement says the discussions over the FA Cup were “bilateral” between the FA and the Premier League.

The EFL insists it must be involved in all discussions on changes to the calendar affecting its clubs and crucially, how any such changes are compensated for. But sources close to the EFL feel that now Premier League clubs have opted to halt talks on a new settlement with the 72 clubs, the EFL is being sidelined.

What happens now?

The FA says it will try to convince lower-league clubs they will not “lose out” as a result of the changes. The EFL says the FA and the Premier League must “re-evaluate their approach” to dealing with it and its 72 clubs.

York owner Matt Uggla has said he will contact all those clubs who have spoken out in opposition to the changes to “discuss our options” regarding the FA Cup.

“We might be called small clubs but together we are giants,” he wrote on X.

He described boycotting the FA Cup as “the nuclear option”.

West Brom were awarded three points and a 3-0 win over Sheffield United on this day in 2002, as the fallout continued after ‘the Battle of Bramall Lane’.

Five days after the Division One clash had been abandoned by referee Eddie Wolstenholme, the Blades were left to deal with the repercussions of a shameful afternoon.

Following the dismissal of Blades goalkeeper Simon Tracey for handling outside his penalty area after only nine minutes, events turned significantly more toxic when Baggies captain Derek McInnes added to Scott Dobie’s first-half diving header to put the visitors 2-0 up on the hour.

Seconds after his arrival as a 64th-minute substitute, United defender Georges Santos – who had suffered a fractured eye socket courtesy of Andy Johnson’s elbow the previous season – was sent off after launching into a two-footed tackle on the Baggies midfielder.

In the subsequent mass brawl which followed, fellow Blades substitute Patrick Suffo was also dismissed after head-butting McInnes right in front of the referee.

Dobie made it 3-0 before Blades midfielder Michel Brown and defender Rob Ullathorne then both limped off, leaving the home side with only six men on the field – one of which being substitute goalkeeper Wilko De Vogt who had come on in place of striker Peter Ndlovu after Tracey’s red card.

That resulted in the match being abandoned with eight minutes remaining due to there not being the required number of minimum players present.

A war of words followed between infuriated West Brom boss Gary Megson, who labelled the situation “disgraceful”, and Blades manager Neil Warnock – who said he was “pleased with the effort” his players put in.

The English Football League subsequently ruled the result should stand and Sheffield United were later fined £10,000 for failing to control their players.

There were also fines for Warnock and Blades captain Keith Curle while Suffo and Santos were both handed six-match bans.

Premier League club executives have been accused of “parking the bus” over a new cash offer for the EFL.

Hopes had been raised by top-flight sources of an offer finally being made on Monday, with a deal projected to be worth an extra £900million over six years to the 72 clubs having been on the table.

However, Premier League clubs did not vote on an offer and are instead focused on bringing in a replacement to the controversial profitability and sustainability rules (PSR).

The delay has already faced criticism from former Manchester United captain Gary Neville, and now Dame Caroline Dinenage, the chair of the Culture, Media and Sport (CMS) committee has spoken out.

“The longer this deadlock goes on, the more the stated commitment from Premier League clubs to striking a deal with the rest of the pyramid looks like nothing more than an empty promise,” Dinenage told the PA news agency.

“With the richest teams in the country continuing to park the bus to block a financial settlement, the Premier League’s number should now be up and the Government must urgently introduce its much-trailed legislation to bring an independent regulator into play.

“Every day that goes by without an agreement threatens the financial sustainability of clubs in communities up and down the country.”

The Government has warned the new regulator will have the power to impose a deal on the Premier League and the EFL if they cannot agree one themselves.

The squad cost control measures the Premier League is looking at are not set to be voted on until the league’s annual general meeting at the earliest.

The EFL is set to discuss the matter at a board meeting on Thursday. Until a new deal is signed off, the EFL will not give ground on Carabao Cup semi-final second legs or FA Cup replays.

That is set to create major congestion next season with UEFA’s club competitions due to expand.

The CMS committee quizzed Premier League chief executive Richard Masters and EFL chairman Rick Parry over the lack of an agreement back in January.

Masters admitted at that time that there had been disagreement over both the size of any offer to the EFL, and where any extra money should come from.

However, Premier League sources had indicated at the last meeting on February 29 that there was reason to be optimistic that a deal would be offered.

Malo Gusto believes Mauricio Pochettino is “waking up” a winning mentality in Chelsea’s young squad as they prepare for Sunday’s Carabao Cup final.

The Argentinian’s resurgent team face Liverpool at Wembley looking to claim the club’s first silverware since co-owner Todd Boehly took over in May 2022.

In that time there has been an almost total overhaul of personnel both on the pitch and behind the scenes, with over £1billion spent on assembling a team with the youngest average age in the Premier League.

After a slow start there was been notable improvement in recent weeks, culminating in a fine performance in ending champions Manchester City’s winning run at home with a 1-1 draw on Saturday.

However, Pochettino and his players are yet to convince everyone. The team were booed off by fans following their last home game, a 4-2 defeat to Wolves at Stamford Bridge, with supporters’ frustrations also being directed at the manager personally.

Sunday’s final could be a key indicator as to whether a corner has truly been turned following the City draw and impressive wins away at Aston Villa and Crystal Palace.

And defender Gusto – a key figure during the recent upturn in results, deputising at right-back for injured captain and England international Reece James – praised his manager for working to instil a winning attitude.

“He (Pochettino) is here for this,” said the 20-year-old. “He knows he has to wake up our mentality, to wake up our desire to win everything. We are Chelsea and a big club like Chelsea has to win everything, to keep fighting.

“He helps us a lot. He has tried to show us the desire to win, to keep fighting against every team. He talks to us a lot about tactics, technique and everything.

“He is a good person as well. He tries to help us a lot on the pitch and off it as well. He is a good coach for this young team.”

Gusto has been one of the outstanding performers of Chelsea’s recent recruits.

Signed from Lyon for £30.7million in January 2023, he was loaned back to the Ligue 1 side for remainder of last season before making his mark during the current campaign.

He has made 24 appearances in all competitions, after a recurring hamstring injury limited James to just nine.

A forward player in his youth, he has evolved into an effective attacking full-back and he has made four assists in the league, most recently setting up Conor Gallagher’s equaliser in the 3-1 win at Palace with a pinpoint low cross.

He made his senior debut for France as a substitute in a 2-1 win against the Netherlands in October.

He said he was not daunted by the prospect of dislodging James from the team before signing for Chelsea, adding: “I wasn’t thinking about what could happen. I just wanted to take my chance.

“If I can play, I play. I’ve stayed focus on my football. I work every day to become better, to improve. That’s what I do.

“We are not similar, (James) and me. He’s a bit different, but when we are on the pitch we try to keep a mentality to score and to assist.

“I work for (getting better going forward). I have good cardio, good legs. This is my football. When I was younger, I was the same, running every day. When your team-mates see you run a lot, you want to run a lot with them.”

The defender came in for particular praise for the way he dealt defensively with City’s Jeremy Doku during Saturday’s draw at the Etihad Stadium.

“I came to Chelsea because I wanted to play against great players. I think the game was complicated, but it was good for me to learn.

“(The praise) is nice, but I don’t really care about it, I just want to to become a better person and better player.

“The game against Doku, people talk about it, but it’s just one game. Maybe this weekend I could be s*** and the game after I could be better.”

New stoppage time rules saw playing time increase by around seven minutes on average compared to last season across the EFL’s opening weekend and Sunday’s Community Shield.

Arsenal and Manchester City’s clash at Wembley lasted longer than all but seven of last season’s Premier League games, following on from a league programme in which five games had over 20 minutes stoppage time across the first and second halves combined.

Here, the PA news agency looks at how the new approach affected playing time.

Community Shield

Substitute Leandro Trossard scored Arsenal’s equaliser in the 11th of 12 minutes added at full-time against City before his side sealed victory on penalties.

A total of 105 minutes and 45 seconds of playing time was over six minutes longer than last year’s equivalent fixture between City and Liverpool.

It was also more than seven minutes up on last term’s Premier League average of 98mins 31secs and longer than all but seven of the season’s 380 top-flight games – Chelsea v Everton, on last August’s opening day, being the longest at 110:21.

City boss Pep Guardiola expressed frustration before the match with the new rules, noting that “every game we’re going to play for 100 minutes” as part of a wider criticism of the demands placed on players.

Opposite number Mikel Arteta was unsurpisingly more positive after Trossard’s strike, saying: “It is really good to do that (enforce rules against time-wasting). It was going too far and now teams are going to have to think twice.

“We have to prepare to play 100 minutes. It is going to happen every single week.”


Average playing time across the 12 Championship fixtures this weekend was 104 minutes and nine seconds, nearly six minutes up on last season’s average of 98:21.

Leeds’s Crysencio Summerville snatched an equaliser against Cardiff in the fifth added minute while Adam Idah’s winner for Norwich came in the sixth, with Hull manager Liam Rosenior sent off for his protests after only five were indicated by the fourth official.

Ipswich’s win at Sunderland was the longest game at just over 108 minutes, with all bar Middlesbrough v Millwall and Bristol City v Preston cracking the 100-minute barrier.

League One

The third tier saw Saturday’s matches all last beyond 100 minutes with an average of exactly 106, up from 99:20 last term.

Portsmouth’s 83rd-minute substitue Kusini Yengi scored a stoppage-time equaliser against Bristol Rovers, albeit barely a minute beyond the end of the 90, while Fleetwood’s equaliser at Carlisle came in the fourth minute of first-half added time.

Northampton v Stevenage, with a total playing time of 112 minutes and 36 seconds, was the longest across the English league this weekend.

League Two

The most striking increase came in League Two, where games lasted an average of 107 minutes and four seconds – exactly eight minutes longer than last season.

Accrington v Newport was the longest at 110:46 while even the shortest games, Stockport v Gillingham and Wrexham v MK Dons, lasted 104:24.

Farrend Rawson scored Morecambe’s winner two minutes into added time against Walsall while Wrexham’s typically madcap 5-3 loss on their EFL return featured goals in the fourth and sixth minutes of second-half stoppage time.

Championship clubs’ spending on wages exceeded revenue for a fifth successive season in 2021-22, according to a new report.

Deloitte’s Annual Review of Football Finance found second-tier teams’ combined wages-to-revenue ratio was an astonishing 108 per cent, as clubs continued to chase the dream of reaching the Premier League.

Nottingham Forest, who ultimately succeeded in reaching the top flight at the end of the 2021-22 season via the play-offs, spent almost 200 per cent more on wages than they earned in revenue – £58.6million compared to £29.3m – in their promotion year, according to figures in the Deloitte report.

Championship clubs’ total revenue was up 13 per cent in 2021-22 compared to the season before, reaching £676million.

However, while wage costs fell for a second consecutive year, they remained higher than revenue for the fifth season in a row.

Tim Bridge, lead partner in Deloitte’s Sports Business Group, said: “The glamour of Premier League promotion is spearheading the continual drive for investment in Championship clubs, often in an unsustainable manner, driving some clubs to overstretch financially.

“It is critical that long-term decisions are now made by clubs’ owners and, with the introduction of the independent regulator, focus will turn to improving the distribution mechanism of revenues between the leagues and clubs.

“This must be accompanied by appropriate governance and financial controls to ensure that any proposed solution is suitable and sustainable.”

EFL chairman Rick Parry believes the disparity in revenue between the Premier League and the Championship has created a “cliff edge” between the leagues, and argues parachute payments are also fuelling inequality within the Championship.

Deloitte’s report underlines the value to clubs of reaching the Premier League. Relative to the 2022-23 season, it says revenue from broadcasters is expected to provide a minimum uplift of more than £90m for Luton, approximately £84m for Sheffield United and £54m for Burnley, with both of those two clubs in receipt of parachute payments whilst participating in the Championship.

The report said that should a club suffer immediate relegation, assuming they are not in receipt of parachute payments at that point, under existing arrangements the parachute payments from the Premier League will continue to provide an uplift over the following two seasons of at least £80m.

For a Championship club not otherwise in receipt of parachute payments, the value of promotion will be at least £170m across the next three seasons and, if a club survives their first season in the Premier League, they will be entitled to three seasons of parachute payments and the incremental revenue will be over £290m across five years.

Discussions over a new financial settlement between the two leagues are ongoing. The Government said in its White Paper on football governance that a new regulator will be given backstop powers to impose a settlement if one cannot be agreed, but it is unlikely the regulator will be up and running until 2024-25 at the earliest.

Parry accepts that reform of the distribution package has to go hand in hand with cost control measures, which are also part of the ongoing ‘New Deal For Football’ talks between the EFL, the Premier League and the Football Association.

Bridge believes it is vital for the leagues to see the common ground they share to resolve the dispute on distribution.

“The point I would make is that the longevity of the Premier League and the ability for clubs to move up and down between the Premier League and the Championship and to achieve variety in those clubs is a good thing for the overall brand and the marketing position of English football,” he said.

“Part of the beauty of the Premier League is always that any team can beat any other team. And so at any one point in time, what we really want to see in the English game is a variety and diversity of clubs coming through the league at different points in time, bringing new storylines, bringing new faces to the league because frankly that keeps it fresh.”

Wage spending in the Premier League in 2021-22 grew by £192m compared to the previous season, but this was outpaced by a £586m increase in revenue, meaning the top flight’s wages-to-revenue ratio fell for the second consecutive season from 71 per cent to 67 per cent.

That is still a significantly higher ratio than the average of the three seasons pre-pandemic up to 2018-19 – 58 per cent.

Across Europe’s ‘Big Five’ leagues as a whole however, revenue growth was outpaced by wages, which stood at 12.3 billion euros (£10.5bn).

This comes at a time when the continent’s football governing body UEFA has introduced new financial sustainability regulations, including a cost control rule which by 2025-26 will limit a club’s spending on wages, transfer fees and other player and coach costs at 70 per cent of turnover.

UEFA could go even further in the future, with president Aleksander Ceferin raising the possibility of a Europe-wide salary cap in an interview in April.

A deal has been agreed in principle for the sale of Wigan Athletic, according to the current ownership group.

The deal will require EFL approval and no details of the prospective buyer were given in a brief statement posted on the club’s website on Sunday evening.

“The prospective new owners have committed to resolving all outstanding liabilities at the earliest opportunity,” the statement read.

“Further updates on this process will follow in due course.”

Wigan, who finished bottom of the Sky Bet Championship this season, were hit with a second four-point penalty over payment of wages at the end of May and will start next season on minus eight points in League One.

The Latics were handed the initial deduction in response to two late payments in March and May, with a further four points suspended.

An independent disciplinary commission required funds equal to 125 per cent of the club’s forecast monthly wage bill to be paid into a nominated account by May 24, but that was not done and the additional sanction therefore enforced.

Latics chair Abdulrahman Al-Jasmi posted a lengthy statement on the club’s website shortly before the second points deduction was announced, addressing the problems with meeting the payroll on time.

“I want to confirm that an eight-figure sum is currently being processed and is due to land in the club account imminently. This funding will also ensure financial stability for June and the 2023/24 season,” he wrote.

“It is important to address the numerous late wage payments. As I have previously stated, I recognise this is totally unacceptable. Since Phoenix 2021 acquired Wigan Athletic in 2021, the ownership group will have invested over £30m into the club to date.

“The inflated wage bill resulted in cash flow issues which meant we could not adhere to the Agreed Decision with the EFL in January. However, everything possible was done to ensure wages were paid.

“Delays are a common occurrence with overseas transactions, but that is not and cannot be an excuse for late payments.”

Coventry have been preparing for their Premier League assault as popular Sky Blues kitman Chris Marsh fights sepsis.

The former Walsall defender was admitted to University Hospital Coventry this week with the infection which stemmed from a problem in his neck.

He missed Monday’s final day 1-1 draw at Middlesbrough but will be in the dressing room for Sunday’s Championship play-off semi-final first leg against the same opponents at the CBS Arena on Sunday, although cannot work as he recovers.

The effervescent Marsh credits club doctor Ganeshan Ramsamy for acting quickly and knows there could have been a very different outcome.

He told the PA news agency: “I thought it was a wasp sting but I had a really bad night’s sleep so when I came into the training ground the next day (Sunday), I saw the club doctor and he said ‘we need to rush you to A&E’.

“He was worried it was Mastoiditis (a serious infection that affects the mastoid bone behind the ear).

“I was in overnight and they released me so I watched the Boro game on TV before the doc asked me to send him a picture of my neck.

“He told me I was still in trouble – my neck was blistering – and I needed to go back to hospital. I went back and they’d given me the wrong medication so kept me in and it was sepsis.

“They got to it quickly. If I had left it which I probably would have done, it would have been serious. The club doctor was outstanding. He is top-drawer. He cares and I’ve got a lot of time for him, he’s brilliant.

“I’m back home and feeling better. My appetite returned on Wednesday so that tells you you’re on the mend. I can’t work for the next week but they want me in the dressing room on Sunday which is great.”

It is not the first time Marsh has survived a traumatic experience having suffered a slow bleed on the brain on Christmas Day in 2016.

Three days later wife Sabina took him to a walk-in centre where – after she demanded treatment – his blood pressure was found to be dangerously high and he was rushed to hospital. It was a decision which saved his life.

“I was in hospital for a week and on the fifth or sixth day when I was better the consultant sat on my bed,” said Marsh.

“He said ‘I’ve heard all the stories, heard off your wife that she kicked up a fuss at the walk-in clinic and you wanted to go home. Categorically, had you gone home that night and slept like you wanted to do, you weren’t waking up’.

“The bleed was that bad, I would have been gone.

“I’ve always said my wife saved me then. They always know, right? She sensed there was something wrong and she acted upon it right away.”

Soon after his recovery, and unable to do his day job as a driver, the ex-Northampton man joined the Sky Blues as kit man having played with manager Mark Robins and assistant Adi Viveash at Walsall.

There, he was a key part of promotion squads, including the Saddlers’ famous 1998-99 season when they finished runners-up behind Fulham and ahead of Manchester City in the old Second Division.

Coventry are now seeking to end their 22-year exile from the Premier League.

They have never been closer since their 2001 relegation, despite playing seven of their opening nine games away because the Commonwealth Games’ Rugby Sevens wrecked the CBS Arena pitch.

“One thing with this management team, not just Robbo, it’s Adi, Dennis Lawrence, everyone, they don’t take anyone for granted,” said Marsh, who has been a restaurateur and sandwich shop owner since retiring from playing.

“The players are not allowed to take the foot off the gas. Especially with the start we had, we were bottom, the pitch, we had to play so many away games at the start.

“To climb the table and be consistent, every single member of that team has played a part, every single one.

“Talk about David v Goliath or whatever analogy you want. We haven’t just swum The Channel, we’ve swum the Atlantic already – there and back.”

Burnley have rewarded manager Vincent Kompany with a new five-year deal.

The former Manchester City defender won promotion back to the Premier League in his first season in the dugout at Turf Moor, winning the Championship title in style.

He has been linked with a number of Premier League vacancies, including Chelsea and Tottenham, but has now committed his future to the Clarets until 2028.

The Belgian said: “Burnley and Turf Moor felt right pretty much from the start – so it also feels right to sign for the next five years.

“Together with the fans we have made Turf Moor a fortress again and continue to look forward to the future and the job of making Burnley better with every step.”

Kompany replaced Sean Dyche last summer following the club’s relegation to the Championship and has transformed their playing style, having cantered to the Championship title.

The Clarets can rack up 100 points – their highest ever tally in the club’s 140-year history – if they beat Cardiff in the final game of the season on Monday.

Chairman Alan Pace added: “We are ecstatic Vincent has signed a new deal.

“He is the perfect fit for how we all see Burnley Football Club moving forward.

“An extraordinary leader, setting ever higher standards and driving our club to the levels we all want to achieve.”

EFL clubs have unanimously voted to accept a record £935million deal with Sky Sports that will see more than 1,000 matches broadcast a season, but which keeps the Saturday blackout in place.

The five-year domestic deal, made up of guaranteed payments of £895m and £40m in marketing rights, will begin in 2024-25 and run to the end of the 2028-29 season.

It represents a 50 per cent increase on the league’s current deal with Sky which expires at the end of next season.

Altogether 1,059 league, EFL Cup and EFL Trophy matches will be shown live either on a Sky main channel or via a Sky streaming platform, replacing the iFollow service for domestic viewers.

Streaming platform DAZN had been keen to acquire the rights to screen all EFL matches and bring an end to the Saturday blackout period between 2.45pm and 5.15pm.

The blackout stays in place in the Sky deal, but more matches are available to stream, with six games across the Championship, League One and League Two now set to kick off at 12.30pm each Saturday.

The deal means 26 out of 36 matches will still kick off at Saturday 3pm – seven Championship matches plus 19 across Leagues One and Two.

The EFL acknowledges the changes in kick-off times can make planning difficult for matchday fans, and has committed to placing all live matches up to the FA Cup third round before the start of each season.

It is understood that based on the EFL’s distribution formula, Championship clubs will earn 46 per cent more in guaranteed broadcast income and clubs in Leagues One and Two will be 25 per cent better off.

EFL had announced Sky as its preferred bidder in early April, following the issue of invitations to tender earlier in the year.

The deal means 10 league matches will be shown live each weekend, including six in the 12.30pm Saturday slot.

Every match in the EFL Cup will be shown live, plus every game in the EFL Trophy.

The PA news agency understands Sky has bought the EFL Cup rights ‘as is’ , despite the possibility of the competition having a significantly different look from 2024-25, with domestic calendar issues under discussion as part of the ‘New Deal For Football’ talks.

The EFL declined to comment on whether the deal included a rebate clause to Sky in the event that the format of the competition did substantially change.

All opening round and final day matches will be shown live, as will all games played on Bank Holidays including Easter, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day alongside the matches played in Sky Bet League One and Two during international breaks.

The deal also promises greater parity in the number of times clubs are selected for TV coverage is also guaranteed.

EFL chief executive Trevor Birch said: “This is a landmark broadcast deal for EFL clubs, establishing the league as a premium partner with a world-renowned broadcaster in Sky Sports.

“The EFL is an iconic sports property and one of the biggest and best attended leagues in European football.

“This increased investment and coverage from Sky Sports will showcase much more of our compelling match action to fans, while delivering record rights values as we seek to make our clubs sustainable at all levels.”

Clubs will gain an additional fee when selected for broadcast, but a debate on how these will be allocated will take place among the clubs later in the year.

No bid convinced the EFL to remove the blackout. The EFL estimated that removing it would cost £37m in matchday attendance revenue, and that had to be factored into any offer which sought to remove it.

Former NFL star JJ Watt and his wife Kealia, an ex-forward capped three times by the United States, have announced their investment in Burnley ahead of the club’s return to the Premier League.

JJ represented the Houston Texans and the Arizona Cardinals in a distinguished career in which he won three NFL defensive player of the year awards while Kealia represented Houston Dash and Chicago Red Stars.

Kealia still holds the record for scoring the fastest goal of any debutant for the women’s national team, doing so after 48 seconds in October 2016 against Switzerland in a friendly in Minneapolis.

The couple, who have spent time at Burnley and within the local community recently, attended the club’s 3-0 win over Wigan in March and on Monday confirmed their formal involvement with the Clarets.

“When you invest in a club that’s been around since 1882, you must have great respect for its history and tradition,” the pair said in a statement.

“We understand that not only are we investing in the squad and manager, we’re investing in the town and its people.

“We take that responsibility very seriously and intend to work hard in earning their trust and support.

“We believe that Burnley is a special club with incredible supporters and we want to help continue to elevate its global profile on its return to the Premier League.”

Burnley have rubberstamped an immediate return to the English top-flight after last season’s relegation by wrapping up the Sky Bet Championship title.

“We’re absolutely delighted to welcome JJ and Kealia into the Clarets family,” Burnley chairman Alan Pace said.

“Both JJ and Kealia bring with them an incredible amount of top-level sporting pedigree and success, as well as ideas and connections that will be invaluable in helping us to continue telling the Clarets story to an international audience.”

Kealia is also looking at helping Burnley’s women’s side, who sit in the third-tier FA Women’s National League North division and had their first ever outing at Turf Moor on Sunday.

“In the US, I’ve seen the NWSL grow into something really incredible, and we’d love to be a part of growing the women’s team here and be a part of their journey,” Kealia added.

Rotherham manager Matt Taylor said securing Championship survival was no more than his team deserved and was made all the “sweeter” by their recent history in the division.

The Millers ensured they cannot be caught by Reading in the third and final relegation spot after beating promotion-chasing Middlesbrough 1-0 at New York Stadium.

Boro were reduced to 10 men just before the break when Anfernee Dijksteel was sent off and Rotherham took advantage at the start of the second half when Hakeem Odoffin fired home the only goal of the game.

The victory meant Rotherham staved off what could have been a fourth successive relegation from the second tier and ends a yo-yoing six-year period for the club between the Championship and League One.

A delighted Taylor, whose side go to rock-bottom Wigan in their final game, said: “What has been before for this club makes this moment sweeter. It’s fully deserved. I don’t know how much more this league can throw at us.

“There is one thing running through this club and that is spirit.

“Even had it gone down to the final game of the season I would have been confident. We are going to be better equipped next season. It’s a big achievement for the club.”

The two key moments of the match came either side of half-time, first with Boro losing Dijksteel in first-half stoppage time when the defender clumsily brought down Jordan Hugill on his route to goal and was given a straight red card.

Then, three minutes after the interval, Rotherham went ahead when Odoffin smashed a low shot beyond Zach Steffen from the edge of the box.

That proved to be the winning goal, although there were some nervy moments for the Millers, with Tommy Smith lashing over at the back post and Viktor Johansson pulling off a despairing save from a deflected effort by Jamie Lindsay.

Taylor said of the two main incidents: “Whether it was a sending-off not, I don’t know, but it felt it at the time.

“It was one moment of quality from Hakeem and time stood still before it hit the back of the net.

“Forty-nine points is a good tally with what has been thrown at us. I won’t be seeing the players for the next couple of days.”

Middlesbrough had already secured a play-off place, but defeat in South Yorkshire means they can no longer catch Luton in third and must settle for fourth spot.

Head coach Michael Carrick said: “I have mixed feelings. I am disappointed that we lost the game because that is definitely not what we came here to do. There are things to learn from it.

“I thought the first half for large parts suited them and not us. It was a bit stop-start and set-plays. There was not a lot of football played.

“The sending-off changes the game. It was a little bit harder to create that chance but I thought the boys did a lot of good things.

“I thought the red card was soft. Darragh (Lenihan) was covering him. It caught me by surprise when he got the red card out.

“If we had got that early goal it would changed the course of the game.”

Rotherham ensured they will be playing Championship football again next season with a battling 1-0 win over 10-man Middlesbrough.

The Millers had been relegated in each of their previous three campaigns at this level but Hakeem Odoffin’s powerful second-half strike meant they secured survival ahead of what would have been a nervy final-day trip to bottom side Wigan.

Victory guarantees they cannot be caught by Reading who, following their six-point deduction, occupy the third and final relegation spot. The Royals can now only catch Huddersfield, who are three points above them, have a game in hand and a slightly better goal difference.

Middlesbrough, who have already secured a play-off berth but could have replaced Luton in third, lost defender Anfernee Dijksteel to a straight red card just before half-time and could find no way back once Odoffin struck three minutes into the second half.

It might have been a different story had the visitors made the most of an early chance when Riley McGree outpaced Richard Wood.

The Boro forward flicked his effort beyond home goalkeeper Viktor Johansson but Wood managed to stop the ball from crossing the line.

Rotherham then forged a chance of their own from Wes Harding’s long throw but Jamie Lindsay fired off target.

The home side suffered a blow when dangerman Chiedozie Ogbene picked up an injury and had to be replaced but the Millers still managed a period on top without the Ireland international, with Middlesbrough-born Jordan Hugill almost getting on the end of a curling cross from Ollie Rathbone.

It was Middlesbrough’s turn to suffer a setback just before the break when they were reduced to 10 men after Dijksteel bundled over Hugill and blocked his path to goal.

It gave Rotherham a shooting chance from the edge of the box but Cohen Bramall’s free-kick was off target.

United did not have to wait too much longer to take the lead though, with Odoffin netting what would prove to be the winner in the 48th minute when powered a low shot from the edge of the box past Zach Steffen.

However, even with a man down, Middlesbrough continued to pose a threat.

Former Rotherham midfielder Dan Barlaser, who swapped clubs in January, tried to get his new team back on level terms but his effort from distance was comfortably over the bar.

There was an even bigger scare for the home side when a flicked ball from McGree bounced kindly to half-time substitute Tommy Smith but he sliced over at the back post.

Rotherham fans were calling for another red card when Paddy McNair looked like he had hauled down Georgie Kelly on his way through to goal but the appeals were dismissed by referee Keith Stroud.

Championship top scorer Chuba Akpom had been having a quiet afternoon until he burst into life with a menacing run and strike which had to be deflected over the bar.

Johansson also had to pull off a despairing late save when a cross was diverted goalwards by Lindsay as Rotherham held on for a vital victory.

Neil Warnock urged Huddersfield not to let their rescue mission slip after victory at Cardiff took the Terriers to the brink of Sky Bet Championship survival.

Huddersfield won 2-1 at Cardiff through Joseph Hungbo’s super strike and a Jack Simpson own goal to leave themselves needing one point from their final two games to stay in the Championship.

When veteran Warnock took over in mid-February, Huddersfield were in 23rd place and just one point off the bottom of the table.

“We’ve come this far and it would be the icing on the cake (to survive). We can’t let it go now,” said the 74-year-old.

“The lads enjoy playing for us and the euphoria is there but, when you’re in relegation trouble, jobs are at stake. I do feel a bit of responsibility.”

Huddersfield finish their season with two home games against promoted Sheffield United and 22nd-placed Reading.

“I’ve always thought it would go down to Reading, it still might,” said Warnock, who admitted to being emotional after Cardiff fans clapped him at the final whistle in recognition of this three-year spell there between 2016 and 2019.

“Sheffield United are a good side, people said they might take the foot off the pedal now they’ve got promoted.

“Looks like, didn’t it? They really took their foot off the pedal on Saturday when they won 4-1.

“But it just shows what you can do. I think the lads have probably surprised themselves, we’ve got better players than what they were achieving.

“Sometimes you do under-achieve and they just need an arm around them. I’m glad I’ve come in and done my bit because we needed an old head.

“I think if I’d been there for three months we’d have had a good chance of the play-offs, as it’s such an open league apart from Burnley.”

Cardiff’s own relegation fears were over after Reading had failed to beat Wigan on Saturday.

And Sabri Lamouchi’s Bluebirds were thoroughly outplayed in the second half, scarcely deserving Isaak Davies’ late back-heeled consolation.

“It’s a massive club and they deserve to stay in the Championship,” said Lamouchi, who was appointed Cardiff’s third manager of the season in January and whose position remains unclear.

“I’m proud about that. It is job done, massive achievement.

“I am happy to work with this squad, but it (the future) is not about what I want to do. It’s about what the club want to do. It’s very simple.”

Huddersfield took a huge step towards Sky Bet Championship safety with a 2-1 win at Cardiff.

Substitute Joseph Hungbo struck a powerful opener and Jack Simpson’s own goal secured Huddersfield a three-point buffer between themselves and the relegation zone.

Cardiff replied through Isaak Davies’ first goal of the season seven minutes from time and the Terriers held on to the three points when Lee Nicholls saved superbly from Rubin Colwill.

A draw on the final day at home to 22nd-placed Reading will be enough to keep Huddersfield up, although Neil Warnock’s side could guarantee their Championship status by avoiding defeat to promoted Sheffield United on Thursday.

Warnock was back on familiar ground having won a record eighth promotion at Cardiff in 2018 during a three-year stay in south Wales.

The 74-year-old came out of retirement in February with Huddersfield in 23rd place and just one point off the bottom of the table.

Cardiff could relax after their Championship status was confirmed on Saturday by Reading’s failure to beat Wigan.

Sabri Lamouchi has gradually improved the Bluebirds’ fortunes since his January appointment, with Sory Kaba largely responsible for their late-season flourish.

Kaba was rested to the bench after seven goals in 10 games, but the Guinean was introduced as early as the 13th minute in the Welsh capital as Kion Etete limped off.

It was not a welcome sight for the visitors, who had started well in the Cardiff drizzle.

Danny Ward, who played under Warnock during his three years at Cardiff, almost marked his return with a second-minute shot that Jak Alnwick pushed out at his near post.

Huddersfield attacks were also thwarted by brave blocks from Cedric Kipre and Mahlon Romeo as Cardiff struggled to fashion chances.

Romaine Sawyers blazed over from the edge of the box before the Terriers were almost undone after 39 minutes by a one-two between Jaden Philogene and Kaba.

Philogene raced in on advancing Huddersfield goalkeeper Lee Nicholls but lifted the ball into the side-netting.

Openings were just as scarce after the interval until Sawyers lost possession under pressure after 61 minutes.

Hungbo, on loan from Watford, pounced on the loose ball and cut inside Kipre to fire a vicious shot past Alnwick.

Huddersfield doubled their advantage eight minutes later as Jack Rudoni’s free-kick flicked off the head of Ryan Wintle to reach the far post.

Matty Pearson had timed his run perfectly but his header looked as if it was travelling wide before striking the foot of Simpson and giving Alnwick no chance.

The woodwork twice denied Huddersfield another goal as Josh Koroma hit a post before Jaheim Headley planted the rebound against the crossbar from just a few feet out.

Davies gave Cardiff hope with a clever back-heel from Romeo’s cross, but Huddersfield were not to be denied.

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