Premier League to share billion pounds outside top flight
27 March 2015, 10:42
London - The Premier League have agreed to share at least one billion pounds ($1.48 billion) of their bumper TV deal outside the top flight while the 20 clubs also vowed on Thursday to pay staff the 'living wage'.
The first move is likely to be interpreted as an attempt to fend off critics who have accused the Premier League of not doing enough to support soccer's grassroots.
Both measures were agreed following the first meeting of all 20 clubs since broadcasters Sky and BT agreed to pay 5.14 billion pounds to show matches between 2016-19.
As well as providing parachute payments to relegated clubs, money will be aimed at grassroots facilities, participation, sporting and educational development of young people, fan engagement, matchday experience, solidarity with lower leagues and supporting disadvantaged groups.
The final amount to be shared is dependent on a challenge from British broadcasting's government-approved regulator and on income from international TV rights sales.
"The clubs have always stepped up to the plate when it comes to sharing their success," said Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore in a statement.
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"They appreciate the development of the Premier League is contingent to a high degree on continued high levels of passionate support and a vibrant football pyramid.
"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," added Scudamore.
"All this demonstrates once again that a good result for the Premier League is good for the rest of the game and beyond."
A spokesman was unable to confirm to Reuters the amount redistributed outside the top flight from the current TV deal due to a number of uncertainties such as the final figures for parachute payments.
Media reports estimate the figure of one billion pounds to be an increase of 25 to 50 percent. The new TV deal represents a 70 percent rise on the one before.
The statement added that clubs would pay full-time staff the so-called living wage that now stands at 9.15 pounds per hour in London and 7.85 pounds per hour in the rest of Britain.