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SBD Global/October 4, 2017/Finance

EPL's Proposed Overseas TV Revenue Distribution Model To Be Rejected

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An attempt by ManU, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham and Man City to grab more of the Premier League's TV "billions is set to be thwarted by their rivals on Wednesday following a week of intense lobbying," according to Ben Rumsby of the London TELEGRAPH. Eleven of the 20 clubs appeared to be "holding firm in their resistance to a proposal" by EPL Exec Chair Richard Scudamore that would see "more than a third of their overseas broadcast rights revenue," which is currently split equally between all teams, awarded based on where sides finish in the table. Devised to appease the so-called "Big Six" teams, which argue the current arrangement "does not reflect the contribution their popularity has made to recent exponential rises in rights fees," the proposal to redistribute 35% of overseas TV cash as prize money was rejected at a secret meeting of the other 14 sides last week. Only Everton, West Ham and Leicester City backed the change, which -- along with the support of the Big Six -- left Scudamore five votes short of the required two-thirds majority needed for it to pass. Some of the 11 opponents to the plan put forward are understood to be "willing to discuss change, with one idea being to freeze the existing ratio that sees the champions receive 1.6 times more than the bottom club in revenue from both domestic and overseas broadcast cash" (TELEGRAPH, 10/3). REUTERS' Simon Evans reported football finance expert Rob Wilson of Sheffield Hallam University believes the relatively equal distribution of revenue "helps make the Premier League the most competitive in Europe." Wilson said, "All the data we have on European leagues has the Premier League coming out top in terms of competitive balance. It is not an equal distribution system but it is a relatively equal one. It means the smaller clubs can invest in the transfer market and then can compete against the top six and put a good game on. There is a spectacle there and that is what the broadcasting companies pay for. If I am brutal, the top clubs have forgotten about that." While chairs from the smaller clubs "have opted to keep quiet before Wednesday's meeting," Burnley Manager Sean Dyche believes it would be a "mistake to reduce the finances of smaller clubs such as his." Dyche said, "Do I think it should be an even split? Yes, just for the reasons of competition. We know it's an imbalanced competition anyway, if you make it even more imbalanced, and money rules the competitive element of top level football, so if someone is getting even more, and someone gets even less, it's going to distort it" (REUTERS, 10/3).
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