Football: Rangers to play in private

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The Independent Online
RANGERS will have to play their European Cup league match at Club Bruges amid the unreal atmosphere of an empty stadium following Uefa's decision yesterday to punish the Belgian champions for crowd disturbances.

One of three clubs dealt with by Uefa for this offence - Real Zaragoza, of Spain, and Sigma Olomouc, of Czechoslovakia, will play behind closed doors for two games and one game respectively - Club Bruges have paid the price for the behaviour of their supporters during the European Cup tie at Marseille last December.

The difference between finishing first and last in the Premier League will be as much about money as points. That became abundantly clear yesterday when Rick Parry, the League's chief executive, revealed precisely how much each club can expect when the domestic television income of pounds 37.5m is distributed.

Half the money (pounds 18.75m) is shared equally (pounds 750,000 each) among the 22 Premier League clubs and the three teams relegated from the old First Division last season. A quarter (pounds 9.375m) goes to clubs appearing on television, with pounds 69,335 for each club appearing in BSkyB's 60 live matches, and pounds 7,755 apiece to clubs in the two main matches on BBC's Match of the Day and midweek games. Each club is guaranteed at least two live matches and one appearance on Match of the Day.

The final 25 per cent will be awarded according to performance, from pounds 37,055 to the bottom club rising to pounds 815,210 for the champions. 'The system of allocation is not so much one of equal shares,' Parry said, 'as one of equal opportunities - teams will be rewarded for success.'

FA PREMIER LEAGUE Merit Payments: Champions pounds 815,210; 2 pounds 778,155; 3 pounds 741,100; 4 pounds 704,045; 5 pounds 666,990; 6 pounds 629,975; 7 pounds 592,880; 8 pounds 555,825; 9 pounds 518,770; 10 pounds 481,715; 11 pounds 444,660; 12 pounds 407,605; 13 pounds 370,550; 14 pounds 333,495; 15 pounds 296,440; 16 pounds 259,385; 17 pounds 222,330; 18 pounds 185,275; 19 pounds 148,220; 20 pounds 111,165; 21 pounds 74,110; 22 pounds 37,055.

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