Darren Bent has warned that removing parachute payments could “cripple” a team like Aston Villa upon relegation.

The former Villa and England hitman, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, suggests it could take clubs a decade to recover from suffering a drop down the divisions.

Speaking to a Digitial, Culture, Media and Sport committee, EFL chairman Rick Parry was quoted as saying that parachute payments are “an evil which need to be eradicated” to bridge the financial gulf between the Premier League and Championship.

With Villa currently languishing in the relegation zone, Bent believes removing the financial safety package would force a fire sale of players to bring in enough income to survive.

Bent told Football Insider: “The parachute payments, if teams lose that, it’s a tough one to come back from. I can understand why they’d do that, with the pandemic and the amount of money that’s been lost, to be handing out that money might be difficult.

“The teams that go down now, like Villa, that could cripple them. That’s where you might start seeing teams that do go down from whatever league having to literally sell their best players to be able to fund it.

“At the end of the day, it’s very rare you get a team that will go down to the Championship that manages to keep hold of all their players but when you’ve got a parachute payment, which helps, you do get to keep hold of some of them.

“With no parachute payments you might have to offload loads and then you’re talking about situations where they go down and it might take five, ten years to come back up.” 

Speaking on the financial gulf between the top and second tier, Parry was quoted by the East Lothian Courier as saying: “We have the parachute payments which cause immense stress within the Championship so yes I do think the distribution model is a problem.

“They are a prime example of the (former) Premier League clubs being protected either to help them to get back into the Premier League quickly or help them adjust to the financial chasm. If we didn’t have the chasm in the first place you wouldn’t need the parachute payments.” 

In other Aston Villa news, Alan Hutton has dropped a training reveal after chats with his old teammates.