Premier League clubs agree to give £1billion share of record £5billion TV rights deal to the rest of English football

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Man City• Premier League to share massive portion of £5billion TV rights income
• Clubs committed £50million each to the PL’s good causes at summit
• Premier League CEO Richard Scudamore called move ‘unprecedented’
• Scudamore said: ‘It’s sharing in the success of English football’
• Targeted investments include grass-roots facilities, participation, fan engagement, the lower leagues and disadvantaged groups
• All clubs to adopting the living wage (£9.15-per-hour in London and £7.85 outside London) for full-time employees by the start of the 2016/17 season

The Premier League, the world’s richest competition, will share £1billion over three years with the rest of English football.

The size of the hand-outs, which amounts to £50million per club, will go to five specific areas of the game. The deal is said to be unprecedented in global sport and amounts to an increase in excess of 40 per cent over the previous redistribution figure.

The numbers were unanimously agreed at Thursday’s summit of Premier League clubs — the first meeting since the £5billion domestic TV rights deal. Sharing the bonanza so quickly will go some way to countering the Premier League’s ‘greed is good’ image.

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Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore said: ‘You can’t find me another sport that is committed to this level of sharing. You can use other fancy words like redistribution but this is sharing. It’s sharing in the success of English football.’

The targeted investments are in grass-roots facilities, participation, fan engagement, solidarity payments to the lower leagues and supporting disadvantaged groups. They include all clubs committing to adopting the living wage (£9.15 per hour in London and £7.85 outside London) for full-time employees by the start of the 2016-17 season.

The clubs voted in favour despite being told that title sponsors Barclays will not be renewing their endorsement when their current contract expires at the end of next season.

But the loss of that £120m deal — sure to be replaced at a higher price — didn’t stop clubs committing £50m each to the PL’s good causes.

Ironically, around 50 fans were demonstrating outside the meeting in Piccadilly, London about the Premier league re-distributing their wealth.

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The only caveat is the result of the current Ofcom investigation into how the TV rights are sold and the monies raised from the international rights sales.

Scudamore, who will become executive chairman in June, said: ‘These are unprecedented levels of redistribution in world sport, let alone football, which will deliver long-term progress for English football whether you are a fan, lower league club or involved in the grassroots.

‘I don’t think our clubs have ever made such an early stamp in the ground that says we are committed to what we’ve always done but actually extending and growing.

‘I’ve never seen them unanimously want to say “We want to make a statement. It’s a big statement to give away £1billion of our UK TV deal”.

‘We’ve had commercial success and we are going to share that success and we’ve done this at very short notice. Rarely do we get things through as quickly as this.

‘I do hope over time people will appreciate what we do. Those who know most about us respect us the most. What we do in this space is hugely motivational to me — I absolutely believe in it to my core.’

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Scudamore added: ‘I was hugely encouraged about the fact that I don’t think anybody in the room doubted this was the right thing to do. It was all about how it would work.’

About the living wage commitment, he said: ‘We absolutely get and the clubs absolutely get that if you are paying players X and X is a big number it does look a little incongruous if you are only paying your employees Y.

‘My only plea is that we have to be allowed to do this in our own time, We are only halfway through our sales process and we do have the big issue of Ofcom still sitting over us.’

However, acting so quickly in sharing their jackpot rights will certainly make it a lot more difficult for Ofcom to rule against their TV riches.


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