THE GAME AHEAD: Premier League clubs engage in power struggle over plans for new top-tier TV deal … while deafening silence from club legends has heightened skepticism over Daniel Ek’s plans for Arsenal
- Some Big Six clubs think they can get a raise on the £ 1.5 billion a year TV deal
- They also want to broadcast some matches on their own channels
- Many of the remaining 14 clubs want a three-year extension for the current teams
- Meanwhile, Arsenal’s Invincibles have not spoken out on Daniel Ek’s bid for Arsenal
- Ek says Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp and Patrick Vieira support him
Premier League clubs are divided on proposals to renew current domestic television contract with existing rightsholders or to go through a tender process – a plan revealed by Sportsmail last year.
The issue becomes a litmus test of the balance of power in the top flight following the collapse of the European Super League proposal.
Some of the Big Six are confident they can secure an increase in the existing domestic rights deal of £ 1.5 billion a year by selling some of the TV packages to streaming services such as DAZN, Amazon and Disney .
Several Big Six clubs are looking for more money than the £ 1.5 billion a year domestic TV deal
They also insist on the right to broadcast some matches on their own club channels.
However, many of the remaining 14 clubs prefer the assurance of a three-year extension with Sky Sports, BT Sport and Amazon under the existing terms; an opinion shared by the Premier League, which is lobbying the government to approve an extension over concern that not holding an auction could be in violation of competition law.
The government is expected to be open to the proposals, which, if signed, would mean a rare victory for the Premier League rans on the Big Six.
Some of the Big Six are planning to broadcast some games on their own channels
SUPER LEAGUE DEMISE A BLOW FOR EFL CLUBS?
EFL clubs could turn out to be losers in the collapse of the European Super League project, despite the threat it posed to the football pyramid.
Chairman Rick Parry had formed a surprising alliance with the Big Six by endorsing Project Big Picture proposals last year, reasoning that the financial redistribution offered and the potential for scrapping parachute payments would be worth any disruption for his 72 clubs.
However, the rapid demise of the ESL plan has taken away the influence of the Big Six, so the other 14 Premier League clubs will be able to block radical reforms, including those that would have increased EFL funding.
BY EK, IT’S ALL A LITTLE QUIET
The deafening silence from Arsenal legends Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira and Dennis Bergkamp over their involvement in Daniel Ek’s takeover attempt has heightened the club’s skepticism about Spotify’s founder’s bid.
The trio are reportedly working with Ek on a £ 1.8 billion acquisition, but none of them have offered the Swedish entrepreneur their public approval.
Arsenal’s all-time leading scorer, Henry, has given several key interviews over the past week, supporting the social media boycott and Arsenal fans’ protests against Stan Kroenke’s ownership, causing his apparent reluctance to publicly support Ek. became too intriguing.
Ek broke his silence in an interview with CNBC earlier this week, claiming he had secured money for a bid he described as ‘very serious’ without going into detail.
Dennis Bergkamp, Thierry Henry and Patrick Vieira (left to right) have remained silent on Daniel Ek’d’s bid to buy Arsenal
FA SUPPORT ‘FINAL FOUR’ TOURNAMENT IN CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
The FA backs UEFA proposals to end the Champions League with a mini-tournament starting in the semi-final, when the new format begins in 2024.
The success of last season’s ‘last four’ in Lisbon following the first wave of Covid-19 has prompted UEFA to make the change permanent, hoping that hosting the final stages in one location for a week will commercial value.
The FA’s motivation for approving the change is different, with the governing body’s reasoning saying it would reduce congestion in the fixture.
The expansion of the Champions League to 36 clubs that will each play 10 games in the group stage from 2024 has created a problem for the FA as the additional games will take place in slots previously allocated to the domestic cup leagues.
FA supports UEFA’s plans for a mini-tournament for the last four teams of the Champions League
THE PALACE WILL WAIT FOR GARETH
Crystal Palace has delayed the opening of their academy training ground until July to allow England manager Gareth Southgate to lead the ceremony.
The former palace defender has accepted the club’s invitation to open the state-of-the-art facility, but his availability is limited this summer due to preparations for England’s European Championship campaign.
Palace has therefore chosen to suspend the official opening from May until after the tournament, although some fields are already in use.
Crystal Palace is waiting for Gareth Southgate to open their new academy grounds