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Opinion

Richard Scudamore quotes make clear where fans stand when TV companies move matches

3 years ago
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Richard Scudamore has been a [the?] major driving force behind the Premier League’s dash for ever increasing amounts of cash, by whatever means possible.

The main source is of course the TV contracts awarded for both domestic and overseas rights.

The increases have been phenomenal in the 19 years Richard Scudmore has been with the Premier League.

However, it appears clear that he and the Premier League were pre-warned this year that Sky Sports and BT Sport weren’t going to show the same willingness to up the amounts of money they were prepared to pay.

The deals recently announced, showed that the amount per game the Premier League will receive from the 2019/20 season for UK rights, has actually gone down for the first time.

To preempt this, Richard Scudamore and the clubs agreed for the first time that a majority of games would be shown/moved for live TV, with 210 of the 380 PL matches each season set to be shown live from 2019/20.

This will almost certainly ensure that the overall money doesn’t go down, and maybe still increases, but it also will ensure even more hassle for supporters who actually go to games.

Last week we saw the disgraceful decision to move the Everton v Newcastle match to a Monday night, this being a month after the live games were announced for April.

Fans are only entitled to their ticket money back if they can’t/won’t go now, with no offer to cover non-refundable money already paid for travel and accommodation. Sky get a live game and both Newcastle and Everton bank an extra £1.1m each. Is this situation acceptable?

Well I guess for Richard Scudamore and Sky Sports [and the clubs] it very much is.

Just read these previous quotes from Scudamore below, they aren’t directly about this Everton v Newcastle change, but they very much sum up the Premier League mantra…

Money is everything and indeed justifies everything, just like when Richard Scudamore tried to push through playing Premier League matches abroad.

If you asked match-going fans whether they would prefer their clubs to receive less TV cash in return for no more Monday night live TV matches then the vote would be overwhelming.

Sadly, fans are the only ones without a vote in this.

Premier League Executive Chairman, Richard Scudamore – October 2017:

“Sky Sports and BT Sport do a fantastic job and their investment in our game has transformed football on and off the pitch at all levels.

“When selecting matches, the broadcasters are using the rights that we the Premier League and the clubs have sold them, and they should therefore not be criticised for doing so.”

Richard Scudamore – August 2017:

“The reality is there are pressures everywhere, fans want their clubs to go and sign players, always have done…

“The economics of the game are straightforward. Clubs have assets, particularly broadcast rights, we have global interest in that.

“That generates income, that income is then invested and clubs have always pretty much spent what they can on acquiring talent.”

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