The Premier League’s ‘big six’ clubs have won their fight to take a bigger share of the top tier’s booming international broadcasting revenue, the league has announced.
The domestic TV cash has always been distributed on a meritocratic basis, depending on where clubs finish in the league but proceeds from foreign broadcasters have been shared equally since 1992, as nobody predicted the sums involved would become so significant.
In recent years, however, the league’s top clubs – Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham – have argued they should get more of the overseas income as they are the clubs foreign fans want to watch.
Any change to the Premier League’s rules needs a two-thirds majority – at least 14 of the 20 clubs – and the big six failed to achieve this at a league shareholders’ meeting in October – prompting fears the league’s successful approach to selling its rights collectively was about to collapse, with some suggesting the big six could be tempted to form a European super league.
Those concerns appear to have focused minds as a compromise has been reached. From 2019/20, the start of the next three-year rights cycle, any increase in the current international rights package, which is inevitable, will be distributed according to league position.
Liverpool owner John W. Henry will be happy.