Smaller EPL clubs to argue for equal share of TV money

The English Premier League's 20 clubs will meet today with the thorny issue of television rights cash distribution up for discussion, as the big clubs seek more of the revenue from foreign deals.

The most commercially successful league in the world currently splits its TV revenues from international deals equally among all clubs.

Last season, each club received around £39 million (S$70.4m) from overseas TV deals.

The plan, leaked to British media, foresees 35 per cent of the foreign revenue being split according to league position - so-called merit payments.

A two-third majority, 14 clubs, would need to vote for any change and while the smaller ones have opted not to make their opposition public, one official noted that "Turkeys don't usually vote for Christmas".

The British revenue, from deals with Sky Sports and BT Sports, is not entirely distributed on equal basis.

According to the league's figures, £706m was split evenly among the clubs last season while the remaining £815m was handed out in facility fees, which take into account how many times a team is shown live on television while merit payments reward a club's final position in the league.

Champions Chelsea received nearly £151m while bottom club Sunderland took just over £93m.

Burnley boss Sean Dyche believes it would be a mistake to reduce smaller clubs' finances.

"It could get so distorted that it doesn't stay a really competitive league. The best thing that happened to football for me was Leicester winning the league. It gave it a real shake-up," he said, referring to Leicester's shock title triumph last year. - REUTERS