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Opinion

Newcastle United tempted to change sides in overseas TV cash split

4 years ago
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Last week saw the Premier League ‘top six’ put forward a plan to change the way money is shared out, Newcastle United reported to be one of the 11 clubs that opposed the plan.

Premier League Chairman Richard Scudamore met the 14 clubs last Wednesday (27 September) to present the plan that the six (Man Utd, Man City, Spurs, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal) had come up with.

With overseas TV cash going through the roof (at the minute all 20 clubs receive £39m per year), the six clubs want 35% of the money form overseas TV deals to depend on where you finish in the Premier League, as from 2019/20.

After last week’s meeting, it was widely reported that 11 of the 14 opposed the idea, which meant that with only three set to support it, it would leave the ‘top’ clubs well short of the 14 of 20 votes they would need to make a change.

All 20 Premier League clubs then met yesterday (Wednesday 4 October) to make the final vote, however, it then emerged afterwards that no vote had taken place.

The clubs proposing the change calling off the vote as they realised they were destined to lose BUT with plans to meet in November to have the vote, after making some alterations and/or lobbying the clubs who were in no camp.

An interesting development though is that the Press Association have named the three clubs believed to be siding with the ‘top six’ as being Everton, West Ham and Leicester.

With clubs needing to believe they were likely to be top 10 regular finishers in the Premier League in order to benefit from a change, no surprise maybe that those would be the three. As despite their poor starts to this season, you could imagine these clubs having some belief they could be top half in the coming seasons – Everton and West Ham both having got, or aiming to get, bigger stadiums and hoping to compete, whilst Leicester still buoyed by Premier League success and Champions League involvement.

However, the Press Association also report that both Watford and Newcastle ‘were both tempted by the proposal’ to change the distribution of overseas PL money.

On the surface you would think that it would be impossible to get as many as 14 of the 20 to agree, unless there was other unseen use of ‘carrot and stick’ to help convince them.

The ‘stick’ would seemingly be a threat of some kind of breakaway by the top clubs and/or a European Superleague, as had been mentioned in the past. Or alternatively, there has also been talk of one day clubs selling TV rights on a club by club basis, rather than collectively as a league.

Whilst in terms of ‘carrot’, you can maybe imagine that clubs expecting to struggle in the Premier League, might be convinced by even higher parachute payments to be paid if relegated, giving them even bigger helping hand in bouncing back, if going down.

All in all, it is all a bit undignified for most people looking on, sheer greed coming out at a time when there has never been more money (at the top end) in English football.

Chronicle reporting the Press Association:

‘Watford and Newcastle were both ‘tempted’ by the proposal to change the way money received from overseas television rights is distributed.

The Premier League clubs all met yesterday to discuss potentially altering the way the broadcast rights are split between clubs.

Under the current model all 20 clubs receive an equal split of the pot, however, the so-called ‘big six’ – Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham – do not believe that is fair as they argue it is their popularity and large fan-bases abroad that have driven the figure up.

Chief Executive Richard Scudamore needed 14 of the 20 clubs to vote in favour of the proposal, which always seemed unlikely, and the camps were firmly split, meaning there was no need for a vote and it was agreed that they would try to find another compromise at the next meeting in November.

Going into the meeting, reports suggested that Everton, West Ham and Leicester City were likely to side with the ‘big six’ and the Press Association have since reported that Watford and Newcastle were also ‘tempted’.

Scudamore’s idea was to allocate 35 per cent of the overseas money based on league position and the rest equally, which is the same formula that is used to split up domestic TV money.

But clubs fear that would only increase the gap between the top six and the rest of the league and decrease the competitiveness of the league.

There is also a fear that, should the clubs not agree a new structure in November, it could be a precursor to the big clubs breaking away from the Premier League.’
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