Could there be a new TV deal for the Premier League?
By Joe Harker
As if the Premier League didn't get enough money from TV revenue already, there are proposals for a new deal that will greatly benefit the "big six" clubs. Under the new deal Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur would claim a greater share of the revenue from television deals which would be more like La Liga's current setup where Barcelona and Real Madrid take the lion's share of the funding.
The big six would like their greater global popularity to be reflected as new contracts to broadcast in the United States and China will bring in huge amounts of money. The BBC reports that the new plan, suggested by Premier League CEO Richard Scudamore, would see 35 per cent of TV revenue awarded depending on league table position. It would end 25 years of every club getting an equal share of international broadcasting money and could widen the gap between the top teams and other clubs attempting to get closer to the top of the table.
Guardian journalist Barney Ronay describes the proposals as "all about the richest getting richer", as the teams finishing at the top of the table are the richest clubs in the league with the most valuable players. If clubs get less money for finishing further down the table then they might struggle to present a viable challenge to the bigger clubs. Teams that cannot afford the higher transfer fees and wages needed to acquire better players will fall behind, possibly preventing another Leicester-type team from surprising everyone and winning the league.
Scudamore needed 14 of the 20 Premier League clubs to agree to the proposals, but he has thus far failed to get enough clubs onside. The initial plans were shot down by at least 11 clubs and the vote did not go ahead as it had no chance of succeeding. Everton, Leicester and West Ham were willing to go along with the proposals while Newcastle and Watford were tempted by the idea, but they would still not be enough to win the vote. Crystal Palace, Stoke and Swansea were among the clubs most opposed to the idea and unless more favourable terms are offered there will likely not be any change.
The Daily Mail describes the proposals as "toxic", with a hope that the current intentions from Scudamore do not come to pass. They also report that the big six could break away from the Premier League to help form a European Super League, but that is a distant and drastic prospect. It may even be better for the big teams not to cut off finances from the other teams, as a competitive league ensures that they are always challenged and having to improve.