October 4 – English Premier League club chiefs are gathering in London today for what is being touted in some quarters as one of the most important meetings since the league’s creation in 1992.
The summit has been called to vote on Premier League executive chairman Richard Scudamore’s proposal to change the way clubs share proceeds from international broadcasting rights.
Under the new plan, 35% of income would be distributed as “merit” payments based on league position, with the remaining 65% distributed equally to all clubs.
Tenders for the next three-year period – 2019 to 2021 – go out later this year but deals for Brazil, China, sub-Saharan Africa and the United States have already been agreed.
Traditionally most clubs’ biggest source of revenue has been domestic TV rights which bring in over £5 billion but Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, the two Manchester clubs and Tottenham Hotspur – the so-called ‘big six’ – believe they deserve more of the international income because of their greater popularity.
Reports suggest nine clubs presently favour the proposed new distribution plan which will need 14 in order to pass. Failure to reach agreement could revive talk of a possible a breakaway league or even the idea of playing top-flight games abroad.
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