The first £300k a week player will soon emerge.
The new TV deal struck by the Premier League is brilliant news for English football.
It’s fantastic for the fans because the world’s greatest footballers will be heading for these shores attracted by what will soon be a fairly common weekly wage of £300,000 a week.That’s sure to happen now that PL income will be boosted by an astonishing 70 per cent over current revenues when the deal starts the season after next.
It’s a brilliant coup because unlike other European countries we do not allow our biggest clubs to strike individual deals because it means two or three of them can take up to 85 per cent of their country’s total TV money. No wonder clubs like Barcelona and Real Madrid can currently offer their stars the biggest pay packets in Europe.
We are even more up against it when you consider the “free” money flowing into the game from the Middle East and China.
Sure, clubs like Manchester City can already afford the 300k a week but because the PL deal has netted such vast sums it means the danger of clubs like City and Chelsea who are both in the “free” money bracket will not pull away into a Super-League of just two, whilst teams like Manchester United and Arsenal can top up their already lucrative commercial earnings with big bunce from the broadcasters.
It is a tribute to Sky and Premier League boss Richard Scudamore that such a massive deal benefits almost everybody. It makes our league the biggest and most profitable in the world for at least another four years. Isn’t it great to be looked up to by the rest of the world.
We can all continue to go on holiday anywhere on earth, the US, Australia, the Far East or a hamlet on the far side of the Amazon Jungle and watch Premier League football even if it’s on a scratchy black and white television being carried on the back of a camel by a tribe of wandering nomads in the Sahara desert.
It means that we will retain our crown as the leading country for club football. That will probably irritate Mr Platini, the head of UEFA but that’s another good reason for celebrating the new agreement.
It is also terrific that Sky retain the vast majority of the rights. They are the world’s top producers of football and spreading that sort of quality around the globe is another reason for us to feel proud about ourselves as a football nation. Good luck to BT for joining the football family but the fact that the live rights have to be shared by at least one other broadcaster is the only negative.
And who’s fault is that?
Step forward the European authorities. When Sky first bought the rights everything was pretty simple. You got yourself a Sky dish or a feed and you paid your monthly dues.
That is until the Europeans decided in their brilliance that this was monopolistic and that competition had to be introduced in order to force prices down. It actually forced prices up because all of us armchair fans now have to subscribe to at least two feeds instead of one. The Sky subscription was never going to go down because the quality of the product was improving all the time.
But then we were all suddenly loaded with at least another tenner a month to catch the games on the other service. And having two suppliers has undoubtedly caused problems because BT will be the third “second” channel supplier after Setanta and current rights holders ESPN. So if the bid-winners are only enjoying a three-year-run they’re never going to be able to perfect their product in the way Sky have done over the last 20 years.
Though the broadcasters have had to pay much larger sums than were even expected this time, it should not lead to big increases in subscriptions. The cost of acquiring the rights has gone up by more than £700 million in a 3yr period before without significant increases to the householder.