Liverpool are leading a group of clubs calling for the Premier League to abandon plans to pay a £330m rebate to broadcasters following the suspension of the season.
English football’s leading sides are facing the prospect of paying back significant fees to broadcasters amid the suspension of the campaign, with prime broadcaster Sky – alongside BT Sport and Amazon – seeking rebates due to a series of contractual obligations being unfulfilled.
Those obligations include ‘the value of the product’ – the rest of the season set to be played behind-closed-doors – and the timing of the season. There is also an argument over the loss of subscribers suffered by each broadcaster in the wake of the season’s suspension.
Paul Molnar, the Premier League‘s head of broadcasting, is currently handling negotiations and informed the representative sides of a likely sum of £330m during a meeting between clubs on Wednesday.
According to the Guardian, however, league leaders Liverpool are fronting a queue of clubs – which also includes Spurs and West Ham – who are against paying the rebate, believing fans not being able to attend games will actually ‘increase the premium on live television fixtures’, with heightened interest in the absence of other live sport, as well as fans inability to attend matches.
Broadcasters will also be allowed to show 3pm games ahead of the behind-closed-doors return, increasing the number of live games made available to their respective customers.
There are also concerns from the top six over the increased figures they will be required to pay back, with 50% of the money divided equally and a further 25% dependent on the league’s final standings. The terms of the contracts with broadcasters mean the league’s top six will face rebates of around £30m, compared to the approximate £10.75m the other 14 sides will face.