After nearly 20 years as the Premier League’s biggest cheese, Richard Scudamore is set to step down as executive chairman next month.
A divisive figure, and at times resembling a pantomime villain, Scudamore joined the Premier League in November 1999 before hanging about long enough to see the value of the league expand beyond even Scrooge McDuck’s wildest fever dream, with television rights now being thrown around in deals worth billions of pounds.
As a thank you for all his hard work (because taking home a reported £2.5m a year clearly just isn’t enough) a whip-round plea has been sent out to the 20 Premier League clubs from Chelsea Chairman (and Scudamore’s mate) Bruce Buck – tasking each club with shelling out a £250,000 contribution. This means, that should every club answer the call, the outgoing chief will take home an additional £5m as a parting gift.
But the age-old question remains of what do you get the man who has everything? Rather than cash, or a voucher, here’s a few creative suggestions for what the clubs could buy with Scudamore’s money…
1) The rights to half a Premier League fixture (plus added time)
Sky and BT Sports pay just over £9 million per game for the privilege to show fixtures from the self-proclaimed Best League in the World…even when it’s Huddersfield vs Cardiff. Cough up £250,000 each and clubs could purchase around 48 minutes of Premier League football for him to have all to himself.
Scudamore could have all his mates round – for old time’s sake – and as long as he moved it from a 3pm kick-off, he’d be able to have a big old leaving do whilst taking in around 50% of West Ham’s currently untelevised upcoming game against Chelsea. That’s around 60 Jorginho passes. Just for him (apart from all the other people watching on streams).
2) James McClean
If this were 1998, we would be joking that Scudamore could get a brand new Arsenal striker with his £5m. But football’s moved on; transfer fees have become ethereal, unimaginable amounts of money, more abstract whimsy than tangible currency. Five million English pounds – once enough to almost buy Paul Gascoigne – would now only pick you up 2.53% of Neymar, roughly translating to 4.43cm of show-pony.
But despite the backlash he attracts when November rolls around, James McClean is one player the clubs could buy, after he moved from West Brom to Stoke for £5m this summer. McClean’s not had his most prolific year, with a return of just one goal and two assists from his 13 games for the Potters, but just think of the damage he’d be able to do down five-a-side for Scudamore’s team.
3) 38.5 weeks of Ashley Young
Much to the disappointment of some (harsh) fans, the veteran Manchester United defender is set to be rewarded for his service to the club with an extension on his reported £130,000-a-week contract. Pricing that up, the clubs could all chip in and give those fans unhappy with the England international full-back a welcome reprieve if they instead paid him up front and sent him Scudamore’s way for 38.5 weeks.
Though the years may be against him, time and again Young’s shown his versatility, as he’s transitioned from tricky left-winger to makeshift right back. Whether it’s whipping in crosses in the garden, or redoing the wallpaper in the guest room, Young would surely be value for money in taking on any tasks Scudamore sends his way.
4) 111,111 Bristol City shirts
A cursory glance at his Wikipedia page shows Scudamore is supposedly a lifelong Bristol City fan. Free from the albatross hanging around his neck that is full immersion into the never-ending Premier League schedule, Scudamore might find himself in the strange position of being able to actually enjoy football again. Where better to do this than his ‘beloved’  Ashton Gate.
Obviously, he’ll need to show up in the appropriate clothes to show he’s a real fan as those fancy suits won’t cut it anymore. Currently an adult’s BCFC home shirt is selling for £45 on the Robins’ website. Not including postage and packaging, or the cost of getting Andreas Weimann’s name printed on the back, the Premier League would be able to send 111,111 shirts Scudamore’s way. The equivalent of one a day for just over 304 years.
5) Five million clubs on the brink of financial extinction
A number of clubs – including Chelsea, Swansea, and Portsmouth – have all been passed on to new owners for the princely sum of £1. If Scudamore’s looking for a way back into football there’s worse ideas than setting up a Richard Scudamore Trust, intent only on picking up these bargain buys as and when they become available. Well a man’s got to have a hobby hasn’t he?