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SBD Global/May 17, 2013/International Football

Richard Scudamore Takes Big Stick To Championship Over Parachute Money

The Premier League "has been accused of heavy-handedness with Football League clubs in the tortuous negotiations" about how much of its forthcoming TV billions it will share with the rest of football, according to David Conn of the London GUARDIAN. In a "stormy" Football League meeting at Walsall on Wednesday, some clubs accused EPL CEO Richard Scudamore of "unjust interference with the Football League's freedom to run itself." The row "broke out over the Football League's proposals to close the financial gap in the Championship." With the Premier League's '13-16 TV deals expected to reap £5.5B ($8.4M), clubs relegated to the Championship will be paid substantially increased parachute payments to £59M ($90M) over four years. Because parachute payments are due to go up by around 45% from the last deal, the Football League "proposed two ways in which the financial gap with clubs in the championship might be eased" (GUARDIAN, 5/15).

STANDING ROOM ONLY: In London, Charles Sale wrote before the two main proposals could be debated, FL Chair Greg Clarke "read out an email he had received from the all-powerful Scudamore" at 9:30am -- just two hours "before the start of the club summit."  Scudamore, who had knowledge of the two plans, made it clear in his message that if the talks advanced, the increased PL solidarity payment offers -- worth £2.3M ($3.5M) per season to Championship clubs, £360,000 ($551,052) in League One and £240,000 ($367,000) in League Two last time -- "would immediately be off the table." The news of Scudamore’s intervention "caused pandemonium," with Crystal Palace Chair Steve Parish saying he was "appalled" by such bullying behaviour (DAILY MAIL, 5/15).
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