The English Premier League chief executive attacked a $ 6 billion plan to create a “super leagueThe best-known teams in Europe, as sport struggles to cope with the financial fallout from the pandemic.
Richard Masters told the FT Football Business Summit Thursday, that the separatist competition pushed by players like Real Madrid and FC Barcelona would be “destructive to the value of national football across Europe”.
It would be detrimental in part because the league would not have the normal process of promotion and relegation, he said. One of the reasons the Premier League remains very competitive is the annual battle between the teams to qualify for European tournaments. “Any super league proposal that I’ve read or heard of does not have access through the domestic leagues,” Masters said.
Participants would continue to play in their domestic leagues on weekends, with super-league matches being played mid-week, effectively replacing the Champions League, the annual club competition hosted by European football’s governing body, UEFA, which distributes € 2 billion among participating clubs.
England’s top teams, including Manchester United and Liverpool, are among those told about plans for the super league, which is funded by € 6 billion debt financing from investment bank JPMorgan.
According to leaked documents describing the proposals, 15 founding clubs would receive between 100 and 350 million euros for their membership.
Other figures at the top of European football have attacked the plan, as teams battled the enormous financial disruption of the pandemic. Spectators were excluded from the stadiums and top clubs lost a significant portion of their income as a result.
Christian Seifert, general manager of the Bundesliga, Germany’s premier league, sharply criticized the teams involved in the talks.
“The brutal truth is that a few of these so called super clubs are in fact poorly run money-burning machines that have not been able, over a decade of incredible growth, to s ‘approaching a sustainable business model, ”he said. .
Masters and Seifert have indicated that they would be more willing to back UEFA’s alternative plans to reform the Champions League into an expanded tournament with more matches between the top teams.
Masters also warned that English football would not make concessions to create space for many other European matches, for example by reducing the number of teams in the Premier League. “The English football calendar is crowded,” he said. “I think for the foreseeable future the Premier League will be a 20 club competition.”
The Premier League plans to start the auction process for UK broadcast rights for the three seasons between 2022 and 2025 later this year.
The existing contract, which is shared by Sky, BT and Amazon, is worth £ 5 billion over three years, more than any other domestic football league and helping to make English clubs wealthier.
The pandemic has led broadcasters to cut spending on sports rights. Last June, national television rights for the Bundesliga were sold for € 4.4 billion over four years from 2021 – 5% less than the previous agreement.
Simon Green, director of BT Sport, said he expects “deflation” in the football media rights market. “[There has been an] an overzealous enthusiasm of organizations wishing to join forces with big leagues, ”he declared. “I don’t think it will happen so much now.”
However, Masters pointed out that recent Premier League overseas television deals, such as Nent in Scandinavia and to be sporty in the Middle East, were at values similar to or higher than before the pandemic.
“I accept that we are in a difficult environment,” he said. “I don’t accept that things have stabilized or that we are looking at a downward trend.”