AHEAD OF THE GAME: EFL clubs fear top-flight TV plans will cost them

AHEAD OF THE GAME: EFL clubs fear Premier League’s TV plans will cost them dear… while Burnley remain confident Sean Dyche will stay as potential suitors face having to pay £5.5m to prise him away

  • The Premier League have decided to broadcast all 28 matches this month live
  • The decision has left EFL clubs unhappy amid fears it could cost them money
  • Top-flight clubs made a U-turn on the TV schedule following pressure from fans
  • EFL clubs are concerned that fans may choose to watch top-flight games instead

Football League clubs are unhappy with the Premier League’s decision to broadcast all 28 matches this month live, amid fears it could cost them money by taking casual fans away from their own online streaming service. 

Top-flight clubs had been reluctant to televise every match, and 11 of this month’s games were initially left off the schedules.

But they made a late U-turn this week after pressure from fan groups and the Government. 

EFL clubs are unhappy with the Premier League’s decision to broadcast all matches this month

The change of heart is a threat to the EFL’s iFollow streaming service, which will enable Football League fans to watch all of their team’s games by paying £10 a fixture.

Clubs are concerned that less committed fans may choose to watch top-flight games instead, particularly as 3pm kick-offs will be broadcast for the first time at the start of a season, beginning with Crystal Palace’s home game against Southampton today on BT Sport. 

EFL clubs’ irritation has been compounded by the fact the Premier League opted to give the additional 11 games to rights-holders Sky Sports, BT, Amazon Prime Video and the BBC with no extra charge for viewers, rather than instructing clubs to stream them for season-ticket holders only, or fans willing to pay a fee. 

Top-flight clubs had been reluctant to televise every game but had a change of heart this week

BURNLEY CONFIDENT DYCHE WILL STAY

Burnley are confident of keeping hold of manager Sean Dyche for the whole of the season, despite his fractured relationship with chairman Mike Garlick.

The terms of his contract mean it could take £5.5million to prise him away, while he would also take a significant financial hit if he walked.

Dyche is waiting to be paid a £2.5m survival bonus for keeping his side in the Premier League last season, which is not due until January, while the club would be entitled to receive the 49-year-old’s full £3m salary in compensation if he left them for a rival. 

Both costs would be passed on to Dyche’s next club, which explains why he did not receive any offers this summer despite his outstanding record. 

Crystal Palace are interested in making him Roy Hodgson’s successor, but would be reluctant to pay such compensation. They are hopeful the 73-year-old can oversee another full Premier League campaign.

Burnley are confident of keeping hold of manager Sean Dyche for the whole of the season

FA EMPLOYEES STAY AT HOME

The FA are ignoring the Government’s guidance that employees should be back at their normal place of work this month, despite needing Downing Street’s support to facilitate the return of fans to stadiums.

A planned test event with 10,000 fans at Wembley for non-League finals day on September 27 is likely to be cancelled given the Government are now limiting crowds to 1,000. 

But the FA are still pushing for fans to be allowed to return next month, with England’s Wembley matches against Wales, Belgium and Denmark particularly significant.

The governing body are being more cautious regarding their own workforce, however, and there are no plans for staff to make a wholesale return to Wembley or St George’s Park until January.

The FA are pushing for fans to be allowed to return for England’s Wembley games next month

UPROAR IN ICELAND 

Sky Sports reporter Rob Dorsett came close to sparking a diplomatic incident in Iceland last week.

In a blog post, Dorsett complained about the hospitality he received in Reykjavik when covering England’s 1-0 win last Saturday. 

After the bizarre claim that ‘most Icelandic people we have come across are scared of us’, he complained about being unable to order food from restaurants and takeaways.

This caused uproar in Reykjavik and prompted heated discussion in the Icelandic media.

Icelandic reporters were baffled — particularly as a group had organised, as a gesture of goodwill, for a takeaway curry to be sent to the hotel where a number of English journalists had spent five nights in quarantine.

The meal from the Bombay Bazaar sounds preferable to Dorsett’s diet of ‘fruit, crisps, nuts and out-of-date sushi’.




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