BT Sport win exclusive rights to Champions League: Premier League clubs warned over effects of 'huge windfall' resulting from new deal

The divide between the top clubs and the rest is likely to widen

English clubs should be wary of the “huge windfall” from BT Sport's staggering new Champions League deal widening the gap between the biggest clubs and the rest in domestic football, a senior figure in European football has warned.

The £897million deal, running from 2015-18, should see English clubs' earnings from the Champions League increase by £15million to £20million a year. It will cover both the Champions League and Europa League, and is more than double the £400million currently paid by Sky and ITV.

Umberto Gandini, organising director of AC Milan and first vice-president of the European Clubs' Association, believes that the riches of the Champions League will now need to be spread more widely. He also sees it as an example of why there is little appetite among Europe's elite clubs for a breakaway competition.

Gandini told Press Association Sport: "This is great, great news for the Premier League clubs and if you add up the Premier League's domestic and overseas broadcasting contracts, the matchday revenues and commercial revenues then the business is looking very strong.

"But what I see as a problem is because of the great advantage the Champions League gives you in the domestic leagues, you are hearing people say you need to enlarge participation in the Champions League.

"I believe the way it is structured right now is very good and the new English contract is a great example of that, but it would be wise to address the problem of (income to) the Europa League, we have to consider that.

"We should look at the Europa League and the possibility for clubs in that competition to have a better share of the European football bonanza as an insurance policy, especially for those clubs who do not always qualify for the Champions League but has Champions League costs."

Gandini believes the impact of money from European football is likely to have an even greater effect now that UEFA's financial fair play regulations are operating, meaning clubs can no longer rely on wealthy benefactors to cover huge losses.

He admitted that the rest of Europe would be casting envious eyes at the size of the deal, and the fact that the competition for football's TV contracts in England was pushing up the value.

Gandini added: "When you look at the new Champions League deal, sometimes a business needs to over-bid to get a footprint into market so that is maybe why the numbers are so impressive.

"It will mean a huge windfall of money to the European market in general and in particular to the English clubs.

"Everyone in Europe would pray to have the same competition and new telecommunications players coming into the game."

The success of BT Sport means Sky will be even more determined to keep its Premier League rights - its current deal expires in 2016, so England's top flight is likely to maintain or even increase the value of its rights, which total a record £5.5billion over three years.

The money from the BT Sport deal will not go solely to the English clubs in Europe - 50 per cent of it will go into the whole European pot, but the increased share via the 'market pool' to the English sides will be significant.

Speculation surrounding a possible breakaway competition has continued despite the Champions League's success, but Gandini believes such a demonstration of the value of Europe's top club competition should stand as a reason to retain the current format.

He said: "I honestly think it is a massive, outstanding competition which has had extraordinary results and at the moment, for those who are privileged to play (in it), there is no need to look at alternatives."

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Buttoned up: Ryan Reynolds with Helen Mirren in ‘Woman in Gold’
filmFor every box-office smash in his Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. Now he says it's time for a reboot
News
people
News
Actress Julianne Moore wins the Best Actress in a Leading Role Award for 'Still Alice' during the 87th Annual Academy Awards in Hollywood, California
people
Sport
Ross Barkley
footballPaul Scholes says it's time for the Everton playmaker to step up and seize the England No 10 shirt
News
'We will fix it': mice in the 1970s children’s programme Bagpuss
science
Life and Style
2 Karl Lagerfeld and Choupette
fashion
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria's capital

War with Isis

Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria
Scientists develop mechanical spring-loaded leg brace to improve walking

A spring in your step?

Scientists develop mechanical leg brace to help take a load off
Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock

Ackroyd has devoted his literary career to chronicling the capital and its characters. He tells John Walsh why he chose the master of suspense as his latest subject
Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold

Ryan Reynolds branches out in Woman in Gold

For every box-office smash in Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. It's time for a rethink and a reboot, the actor tells James Mottram
Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising

Stars safeguard against morbid advertising

As film-makers and advertisers make increasing posthumous use of celebrities' images, some stars are finding new ways of ensuring that they rest in peace
The UK horticulture industry is facing a skills crisis - but Great Dixter aims to change all that

UK horticulture industry facing skills crisis

Great Dixter manor house in East Sussex is encouraging people to work in the industry by offering three scholarships a year to students, as well as generous placements
Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head

Hack Circus: Technology, art and learning

Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head. Rhodri Marsden meets mistress of ceremonies Leila Johnston
Sevenoaks is split over much-delayed decision on controversial grammar school annexe

Sevenoaks split over grammar school annexe

If Weald of Kent Grammar School is given the go-ahead for an annexe in leafy Sevenoaks, it will be the first selective state school to open in 50 years
10 best compact cameras

A look through the lens: 10 best compact cameras

If your smartphone won’t quite cut it, it’s time to invest in a new portable gadget
Paul Scholes column: Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now

Paul Scholes column

Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now
Why Michael Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Why Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Manchester United's talented midfielder has played international football for almost 14 years yet, frustratingly, has won only 32 caps, says Sam Wallace
Tracey Neville: The netball coach who is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

Tracey Neville is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

The former player on how she is finding time to coach both Manchester Thunder in the Superleague and England in this year's World Cup
General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?