Everton set to profit from new TV deal but some clubs unhappy
The Premier League may well have said goodbye to long-standing executive chairman Richard Scudamore recently, but even with his departure, it is fair to say that the top level of English football is in extremely good health.
That’s something that can be attributed to one of Scudamore’s last acts while in charge. Back in February, the 59-year-old oversaw the completion of more than £4bn worth of domestic TV deals for the period between 2019 and 2022.
This means that another cash bonanza is on the way for the likes of Everton, who have not been afraid to splash the cash over the past few seasons, in their continued pursuit to break into the top six of the table on a more regular basis.
When you consider that the Toffees received a staggering £127m in TV revenue at the end of last season, then once the new deal kicks in at the start of the 2019/20 campaign, they could be in line for an even greater amount.
A lot will ultimately depend on where they finish in the table in each of the three seasons that the deal is in place. With a percentage of that payment being based on performance, their overall success will be linked to the revenue that they can hope to recoup from the game’s governing body.
At the same time, Everton are without question one of the box office clubs in the division and will expect to have a sizeable portion of their fixtures screened to homes up and down and country, something that will only help swell the coffers even further. Regardless of kickoff times, you can click here to find out odds on upcoming games and consider getting involved in their potential success.
And it is why clubs in the EFL Championship can only look on with envy. They have only recently signed a new five-year deal with Sky and, even though it is worth 35% more than the previous one that was penned, it is not enough to dampen the displeasure that is being shown by the owners of clubs like Leeds United and Derby County.
The sticking point seems to be the fact that all fixtures that are not played at 3pm on a Saturday will be available to be streamed via Sky’s red button service, as well as through iFollow, with the clubs adamant that they were kept in the dark by the EFL’s chief executive Shaun Harvey when this part of the deal was announced.
But is this just a case of the EFL attempting to keep up with the times? Especially when so many other industries are now a part of the streaming revolution. In a highly competitive environment, live sport faces many competitors for fans attention and more importantly their finances.
The argument is that fans will decide to stay at home instead of to going the games in person. Should the attendances slump as many have predicted, then it is the Championship clubs that will really feel the pinch.
The likes of Derby and Leeds feel that they are the poor relations of football in this country and could only dream of recouping the revenue that Everton receive an annual basis, so much so that they are willing to gamble the future of the English second tier.
The chairmen of some of the biggest clubs in the Championship are now threatening to break away from the existing league structure that they find themselves in and go it alone in a bid to earn a more favourable television deal.
If this were to happen, then there is every possibility that the so-called ‘renegades’ will then link up with the Premier League and create a new competition called ‘EPL2’, while also breaking off the long-standing tradition of promotion and relegation in this country.
Should this scenario play out, it will present a very scary prospect for clubs that are left behind in League 1 and 2. At the same time, their saviour could well be the likes of Everton, due to their reluctance to see this idea come to fruition.
More teams under the umbrella of the Premier League means that the very big financial pie that is on the horizon will have to be split more ways, which, in turn, means less revenue for the likes of the Goodison Park outfit.
Marco Silva’s men seem well placed to challenge for domestic honours this season and will look to kick on over the next few years under the stewardship of the former Watford boss. To do so, they need to make sure they keep earning large sums of money from the likes of Sky and BT Sport.
So, don’t be too surprised if Everton and their Premier League counterparts are not all that welcoming to the idea of inviting more clubs into the fold anytime soon. Especially if it means giving up some of the TV bounty that is soon to come their way.