There are fears that the Premier League’s ‘Big Six’ will make a more forceful attempt to grab a bigger share of its overseas television cash after the value of its domestic deal fell for the first time.
The outcome of the triennial auction for the UK rights to the world’s richest league put some of its 14 other clubs on alert for the resurrection of Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City’s bid to change the way broadcast revenues are distributed among teams.
There is even concern that if the current top six do not get their way, they will refuse to allow their television rights to be sold collectively when the UK deal next comes up for renewal in three years’ time and will instead seek to go to market individually.
In October, the so-called Big Six were thwarted by their top-flight rivals in their first attempt to secure more of the league’s overseas cash when clubs met to debate a plan by Premier League executive chairman Richard Scudamore that would have meant more than a third of the revenue, currently split equally between all teams, awarded based on finishing position in the table.
Domestic TV money is already divided meritocratically and the Big Six argue it is unfair for that not to be the case for the remainder of the league’s broadcast revenue, as well as claiming it is their own popularity abroad which has driven up its value.