The Premier League remain on course for a record-breaking set of overseas TV rights that will more than make up for the sizeable deficit in the domestic packages.
It is imperative for the Premier League – and keeping the fragile 20-club collective in place with the constant threat of a Big Six breakaway – that the £450million reduction in UK rights for the three seasons from 2019-2020 is more than compensated by extra foreign earnings.
The Big Six will also want some benefit from their new deal agreed last June that will see any figure above the £3.3billion from the current agreement divided on a sliding scale based on position in the table rather than shared equally.
Premier League hope the new overseas deal will make up for deficit in domestic packages
The signs from the lucrative foreign contracts already signed is that the final figure will more than cover the £450m domestic loss and provide that Big Six dividend.
Deals have been done in the US, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, China, Scandinavia, the Middle East, North Africa, sub-Saharan Africa and Taiwan.
Premier League executive chairman Richard Scudamore, who will receive a multi-million-pound bonus for heading the TV negotiations for another rights cycle, wants to complete the full set of overseas contracts before he leaves in December.
The scars from the aborted plans for a 39th Premier League game around the globe proposed by Richard Scudamore in 2008 still run deep enough a decade later for the Premier League to dismiss any chance of them following La Liga’s plans for a regular-season game in the USA.
The RFU crisis over questions of financial mismanagement is considered serious enough for president Chris Kelly, chairman Andy Cosslett and chief executive Steve Brown to jointly sign the email sent to member organisations outlining their reasons for the Twickenham gravy train hitting the buffers.
These are: a growing uncertainty around the UK sports market after seven years of unprecedented growth; no World Cup hosting to paper over the cracks; and the cost of funding the senior England men’s team, who have lost five out of their last six games. The email states: ‘Our plans are based on anticipating an economic downturn, rather than having to react to one.’
Only Spurs could reveal yet another delay in the finish of their new stadium but still go ahead with the announcement of an ‘official club timing partner’ having signed a sponsorship deal with Swiss watchmakers IWC Schaffhausen. A Spurs spokesman said IWC had rights that start on Saturday.
Tottenham have been forced to postpone the opening of the new White Hart Lane stadium
Unease over Ritchie role at Premiership Rugby
It’s a fact confirmed by the RFU that global insurance brokers Gallagher were also in discussions with Twickenham before deciding to become title sponsors of the Premiership.
So no wonder the double talks have added to the unease in rugby over how Ian Ritchie, former chief executive of the RFU, could seamlessly become the new chairman of the Premiership after retiring from his Twickenham role – even if he played no part in the Gallagher negotiations on either side.
Certainly Ritchie was involved with the clubs getting their best ever deal from the RFU for releasing their players for internationals before leaving Twickenham.
Ian Ritchie (right) became chairman of the Premiership after retiring from his Twickenham role
It was very noticeable that the hapless Professional Cricketers’ Association put out their statement that they had been monitoring the Ben Stokes trial only after website Cricinfo revealed PCA representatives had not been in court.
Presumably monitoring means following the trial through the media despite having a full-time director of development and welfare and six personal development and welfare managers. A PCA spokesman said: ‘We have been supporting Ben before and after the case. It wasn’t felt necessary to have someone in court; we left it to Ben’s legal team.’