Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

'Drastic Action' If TV Deal Goes Ahead

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

'Drastic Action' If TV Deal Goes Ahead

Article excerpt

Byline: DOMINIC SHAW dominic.shaw@reachplc.com @DOMSHAWGAZETTE

THE deadline for the new Sky TV deal with the EFL is next Monday, with more than half of the clubs in the Championship threatening "drastic action" if it goes ahead.

The unhappy second tier clubs believe the proposed deal undervalues the Football League, in particular the Championship, and are threatening a breakaway as they call on the EFL to shred the contract.

As reported earlier this week, the new Sky deal, which would come into effect from next season, is worth PS119m a year, up from PS90m and would result in Championship clubs receiving PS2.95m each season, up from PS2.3m.

The majority of the clubs in the Championship, however, believe the deal is selling them short and there's anger about the disparity between Premier League and second tier TV income. Top flight clubs receive a minimum of PS100m per season.

As Monday's deadline looms, the EFL are well aware of the strength of feeling from at least 15 Championship clubs.

The Times this week claimed to have seen documents sent to the EFL's interim chairwoman Debbie Jevans by the 15 clubs in which they warn of "drastic action" if demands are not met.

The large cluster of clubs opposing the deal are reportedly being led by Leeds, Derby County and Aston Villa. The Gazette understands Boro are one of the clubs unhappy with the terms of the new contract and attempting to press the EFL into a rethink.

In practice, it's not clear how the breakaway that is being threatened would work but Leeds owner Andrea Radrizzani has recently called for the creation of a Premier League 2. As well as believing the new deal undervalues the EFL, clubs are also concerned about the five-year term of the contract, given the changing picture of live sports coverage.

The red button coverage for midweek games this season has also angered clubs, who don't receive facility fees and are feeling the hit of reduced attendances. …

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