Premier League rejects Tottenham request for replay

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The Independent Football

The Premier League last night refused Tottenham Hotspur's request to replay Sunday's defeat at West Ham, in which many of the Spurs squad were affected by suspected food poisoning and which killed off their hopes of qualifying for the Champions' League.

There was another dose of bad news for Spurs yesterday, when it was revealed just what they will be missing out on in Europe next season ­ figures yesterday showing that Arsenal have made £25.1m from their Champions' League run, which could rise to more than £27m with victory in Paris next Wednesday.

Arsenal have chalked up more than twice as much revenue than their London rivals this season. Arsenal's season will earn £52.7m in prize-money and television money compared to Spurs' £26.2m. Almost half of Arsenal's income came from Europe and helps to explain Tottenham's desperate efforts last week to qualify for the élite club competition.

The Gunners' earnings are well above their rivals Chelsea (£47.5m), Liverpool (£43.2m) and Manchester United (£39.9m).

Henk Potts, a football finance analyst with Barclays stockbrokers, said: "The Champions' League is the cash cow of modern football and it is so important to the leading clubs to be part of it. It is not just the TV and prize-money, though that is very lucrative, but it is vital in terms of a club's profile, merchandising and sponsors. That's why it was so important for Arsenal to be in the Champions' League next season, having spent so much money on a new stadium ­ and why Tottenham have been going to such lengths to try to get there."

Manchester United's second successive disappointing season in the Champions' League saw their earnings drop to under £40m ­ compared to £54m two years ago. The figures are sure to give the Glazer family food for thought.

Liverpool's run to the FA Cup, and qualifying for the Champions' League knockout phase, enabled them to earn more than United, while Middlesbrough's success in cup competitions brought in an extra £5m.

Potts says the new Premier League TV deal for 2007-10 will see around a 65 per cent increase in Premiership TV money for every club ­ but that the Champions' League should retain its importance to the top clubs. He said: "Every Premier League club will get more TV money but the value of the Champions' League is likely to go up as well."

With regards to Spurs' appeal for a replay, the Premier League revealed the contents of a letter its chief executive, Peter Scudamore, sent to the Spurs chairman, Daniel Levy, yesterday. It said that the league's board was sympathetic to Tottenham but "has to take a dispassionate view in order to protect the integrity of the league".

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