CHIEF executive Richard Scudamore has insisted the Premier League is not a charity after calls were made for top flight clubs to share out a bigger chunk of its new £5.136 billion domestic television rights deal across the rest of the game.
The staggering new Sky and BT Sport deal for the 2016-19 seasons, a 70 per cent rise on the current £3.01 billion sum, has led to suggestions that the top players will earn £500,000 a week by 2020. The Premier League has still to negotiate its overseas deals, which could bring in a further £3 billion and cement its position as the world’s richest league.
Richard Caborn, a board member of the Football Foundation and a former sports minister, challenged the 20 Premier League club owners to commit at least five per cent of its income to grass-roots football. The Football Supporters’ Federation called for “a three-pronged attack” insisting the level of funding to grass-roots football should not only be further addressed, but also there should be cuts to ticket prices and money should filter down the pyramid to the Football League clubs.
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The Premier League said it spends five per cent of the current £3.01 billion TV deal on grass-roots football and good causes and Scudamore said the league was a success story but not a charity. Scudamore told BBC Radio Four: “We’re not set up for charitable purposes. We are set up to be the best football competition. Just like in the film industry or pop industry, or any talent industry, the talent gets paid a disproportionately high amount compared to other people in the business. We are in the entertainment industry. The stars that grace the fields in the Premier League are world stars.”
The Premier League jointly funds the Football Foundation, providing £12m annually, along with the FA and the Government who each provide £10m.