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Greed of the big 6

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/greed-of-big-six-will-kill-our-game-gzk3bp3ln?shareToken=aeec767b346a4e3107d5611210253bbd

To some of those present, it was the most disconcerting development of the season. It happened at Premier League headquarters in November as the 20 member clubs met to vote on an enormous £564 million broadcast contract offered by Chinese company PPTV. Before the ballot could take place, there were a few unexpected murmurs of dissent and then, from nowhere, the request that representatives of 14 of the clubs leave the room so that the remaining six — you can guess which six — could discuss the matter in private.

In various states of bemusement and disgruntlement, the delegations from 14 clubs — among them Leicester City, the champions, and Everton, a prime mover among the “Big Five" behind the initial Premier League concept and a top-flight club for much longer than any of their rivals — were sent for an unscheduled coffee break while the executives from Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur debated whether the PPTV deal was really in their interests. The consensus among them was that it was not. The other 14 were invited back into the room. The vote took place, amid a newly strained atmosphere, and the required two-thirds majority was achieved before an arm could be raised in objection.

These are tense times, though, for a league whose appeal has long been perceived to be based on the strength of the collective. The “Big Six", as they would style themselves these days, do not see it that way. “It’s not about changing collective selling [of broadcast rights]," Ian Ayre, the outgoing Liverpool chief executive, said last weekend. “It’s about the proportion of [overseas] money, depending on how popular you are."

In other words, the Big Six clubs — at very least four of them, in any case — would prefer a system where the Premier League’s overseas broadcast revenue (£3.5 billion over the present three-year cycle) was shared according to global popularity. Rather than a model that sees Bournemouth and Burnley join Liverpool and Manchester United in accruing more than £50 million a year in overseas broadcast revenue, the Big Six believe their popularity in the burgeoning markets in Asia entitles them to a greater share of the pie.

You can just about see their point — there are not too many players or clubs outside the elite whose names “roll off the tongue in Beijing," to borrow an infamous phrase from Garry Cook, the former Manchester City chief executive — but it stinks of the type of entitlement that the Premier League elite used to rail against when decrying La Liga’s dominance by Barcelona and Real Madrid.

The Premier League needs to be more equal, not less. Forget Leicester City’s title triumph last season, which has already been shown up as the freakish and entirely misleading outlier we always knew it was; forget the league-where-anyone-can-beat-anyone hype. It has reverted to being a two-tier division this season, as was always likely given the enormous financial benefits enjoyed by the elite, benefitting from the huge global exposure they are afforded in the Premier League and Champions League era. And now they want more money in order to flog those advantages for all they are worth? Good grief.

The greed running through European football’s elite appears to know no bounds. Last season the talk was of creating “wild-card" places in the Champions League for big clubs who missed out on qualification. That idea has been kicked into touch for now, thankfully, but you can be sure it will be back on the table again in future. In the meantime the competition is being revamped, once again, to find more guaranteed spaces for clubs from the elite leagues — England, Germany, Italy, Spain — at the expense of other leagues. This, regrettably, is the way of things in the age of the mega-rich elite, who threaten to take their ball home if they do not get their own way

Cont


posted 1 week, 3 days ago

comment by JimmyTheRed (U1682)
posted 14 minutes ago
Park Lane Geezer, well done in producing an excellent article, well thought out in my view and with no criticism from me. However, in taking the moral high ground, you desire for fairness and equality in the monied world of football evades the initial attraction: desire.

Long before the advent of Sky et al, my desire was to see my team play football. I struggle to gain any enjoyment in watching any other club play. I think I am right in saying that the two Spanish clubs have their own tv packages, and there is an inevitability, in my view (and, admittedly selfishly) that the way things will go here.

I desire, with an endless passion to see my club play. Supply and demand determines where the future lies.

JimmyTheRed
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It does have the air of inevitability about it to be honest and as has already been said the only club this would benefit at the moment would be United. In 3 years we would be out of sight commercially, whilst it would still require good management we would be able to outspend every club by a significant amount and still be inside the FFP rules.

Secondly it's also one of the reasons that United have resisted this within the league. Without the competition the popularity of the whole product wanes. However selfishly I would also pay for MUTV if I could see every game on there.

posted 1 week, 3 days ago

comment by Ttliv87 (U11882)
posted 10 hours, 3 minutes ago
comment by gratedbean (U4885)
posted 4 hours, 41 minutes ago
comment by Boris 'Inky' Gibson (U5901)
posted 1 hour, 42 minutes ago
Life's full of people who moan about the fact that they never win anything on the lottery but fail to mention the fact they never buy a ticket.
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I appreciate the coversation has developed since this, and I'll catch up in a sec, but have you seen that 21 year old t!t who's thinking of suing Lotto because she won 1m at 17 and claims her life is now worse??!!!
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She'll be awarded money if she wins. Will she then sue her lawyers?
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posted 1 week, 3 days ago

JimmyTheRed

Appreciate your response. I'm like you with regard to not attending my teams matches in the last few years having been a regular match goer for many, many seasons. I do however by hook or by crook ensure that I watch every Spurs game via various media.

The issue of the impact on football from future broadcasting arrangements, short and long term, will always be a matter of some concern. The geometric growth of money flooding the game provides both opportunities and risks. The people involved in making the decisions as to how the game evolves have a serious responsibility and their pronouncements will determine whether the game retains its integrity across the spectrum. If elite clubs breakaway and in effect ostracise and exclude the rest of the football clubs I cannot see how that would not have a negative effect.

If your team is not amongst the elite hierarchy and is restricted to playing in a lesser league only would interest amongst these fans in the elite league wan? I think my interest would. Also in time the "lesser" league may grow to such an extent that they would challenge the hegemony of the elites and result in a split that would damage the game. Look at the problems in the darts game or in boxing where competing organisations battle to gain control of their sports. It dilutes the integrity of their sports and I suggest that this has to be avoided at all costs.

posted 1 week, 3 days ago

comment by Paulpowersleftfoot (U1037)
posted 22 hours, 7 minutes ago
. Before the ballot could take place, there were a few unexpected murmurs of dissent and then, from nowhere, the request that representatives of 14 of the clubs leave the room so that the remaining six — you can guess which six — could discuss the matter in private.

That's the issue,not the outcome of the vote
________________

I don't get this. I'm not sure I even believe it.

What if the other 14 clubs had simply told the big 6 to "fack off"?

What could they have done about it?

posted 1 week, 3 days ago

interesting read.

1. Its not a charity. So from a purely selfish perspective why should a club in the top 6 not stand up and defend its own personal interest.

2. As a fan I'm sick of being gouged by them all. fans of English football in foreign countries get a far better deal than uk fans do.

3. why did the other 14 not tell the 6 to go outside if they wanted to talk in private and occupy the room then?

posted 1 week, 3 days ago

3. why did the other 14 not tell the 6 to go outside if they wanted to talk in private and occupy the room then?
____________

My point exactly. And the reason why I struggle to believe this story.

posted 1 week, 3 days ago

PLG, I'm not with you on the points of ostracising or excluding minor clubs. As and when they play against the top six, then part of the profits should automatically find its way to them. We will never, ever, I hope, have a top 6 versus a top six league, or a European league consisting solely of the national top clubs.

That would bore me to tears.

There's also the danger of saturation. It is reported that the Americans moved into the PL in the belief that, as a commercial enterprise, they couldn't take sport there any further. Could the day come when there will be a big turn-off by fans? It's possible, just look at how poorly your national squad is supported.

JimmyTheRed

posted 1 week, 1 day ago

comment by Republik of Mancunia (U6779)
posted 2 days, 8 hours ago
I'm late to the conversation but it should be noted that during the Ferguson/Gill years it was discussed many times after the creation of the PL and United certainly always voted against any kind of financial doping in that way.

Mainly for the reasons cited above, that in order for United to be successful financially we also needed a successful opposition. All that has happened since those days are that the top end of the table has expanded to include City and Spurs for very different reasons.

My main issue with the article however is that it doesn't actually give any details of what the deal contained, and in not revealing the details it makes out like the rest of the league has followed the 'top 6' wishes. I don't really have an issue with them meeting separately as they will have very different needs to say Burnley, particularly as more often than not it's their games that move for the TV deals but I would hope that in the interests of the league they would look to maintain the status quo.
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Republik,
Excellent article and good comment from you.
The "so-called" top 6 teams might be floating the idea of a European "super league" and that would be a shame for the thousands of fans of other teams who have supported English Football for many years.

Also interesting, whenever a discussion topic requires some responses other than name calling and sarcasm, LQ is usually silent.

comment by timmy (U14278)

posted 1 week, 1 day ago

Its no longer a sport its a business.

posted 1 week, 1 day ago

comment by Globaled (U7198)
posted 1 hour, 19 minutes ago
comment by Republik of Mancunia (U6779)
posted 2 days, 8 hours ago
I'm late to the conversation but it should be noted that during the Ferguson/Gill years it was discussed many times after the creation of the PL and United certainly always voted against any kind of financial doping in that way.

Mainly for the reasons cited above, that in order for United to be successful financially we also needed a successful opposition. All that has happened since those days are that the top end of the table has expanded to include City and Spurs for very different reasons.

My main issue with the article however is that it doesn't actually give any details of what the deal contained, and in not revealing the details it makes out like the rest of the league has followed the 'top 6' wishes. I don't really have an issue with them meeting separately as they will have very different needs to say Burnley, particularly as more often than not it's their games that move for the TV deals but I would hope that in the interests of the league they would look to maintain the status quo.
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Republik,
Excellent article and good comment from you.
The "so-called" top 6 teams might be floating the idea of a European "super league" and that would be a shame for the thousands of fans of other teams who have supported English Football for many years.

Also interesting, whenever a discussion topic requires some responses other than name calling and sarcasm, LQ is usually silent.
----------------------------------------------------------------------

A super league would not have that great an impact on teams. Maybe average attendance would drop by 3-5% but it would still be a viable product.

One thing for sure is that the 'super clubs' could see their players not picked for international duty by the English FA.

Also transfers of players to these clubs would be inflated beyond belief.

It wouldn't stop me attending games because I missed Arsenal or United games.

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