Premier League to share over £1bn from record TV deal
The Premier League has announced that more than £1billion from the recent record-breaking sale of UK live broadcast rights is set to be shared outside the competition between the 2016-17 and 2018-19 seasons.
Last month, it was revealed that Sky Sports and BT Sport had agreed to pay a combined sum of £5.136 billion for the rights to live Premier League football over a three-season period from the season after next.
And the Premier League is now planning to share around 20 per cent of that sum among a range of beneficiaries, providing there is a "satisfactory outcome" to forthcoming international sales and an ongoing regulatory process relating to how the UK rights were sold.
In a statement on Thursday, the Premier League highlighted five priority areas of investment: grassroots facilities, the sporting and educational development of young people, fan engagement, solidarity with lower leagues and supporting disadvantaged groups.
"The clubs have always stepped up to the plate when it comes to sharing their success," said chief executive Richard Scudamore, who is to take up the position of executive chairman as part of changes to the league's governance structure that were also announced on the same day.
"They appreciate that the development of the Premier League is contingent to a high degree on continued high levels of passionate support and a vibrant football pyramid.
"These are unprecedented levels of redistribution in world sport, let alone football, which will deliver long-term progress for English football whether you are a fan, lower league club or involved in the grassroots.
"Clearly this package is dependent on the outcome of our international live rights and the ongoing Ofcom investigation [into the sale of the UK rights], so the detail won't be known until later this year or in early 2016."
The Premier League's decision was welcomed by the Football Supporters' Federation [FSF], who have campaigned for a more equitable distribution of money throughout the English football structure, in addition to reduced ticket prices.
"The announcement of these increased funding streams is a welcome one and we are particularly pleased with the new funds aimed at match-going supporters," read an FSF statement.
"We look forward to continued dialogue between fans, clubs and the Premier League as to how this money is spent."
Top-flight clubs have also committed to paying the Living Wage - said to be the amount an individual needs to cover the basic costs of living in the UK - for all permanent employees by the start of the 2016-17 season.