Charlton chairman calls for equality in Premier funding

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The Independent Football

The Charlton chairman Richard Murray has called for a "redistribution of finances within football on a more equal basis" to avoid the Premier League becoming "predictable".

Murray said: "I can only see the Premiership continuing to be dominated by those clubs with the largest financial resources and it may well be that with the apparent resources at the disposal of Chelsea they are likely to be the dominant force in Premiership football for many years to come unless a similar level of investment is made in other Premiership clubs.

"It is not in the interest of any club in the top flight that the competition becomes predictable because that will in time have an effect both on the level of supporter and corporate interest in the League.

"I have often written of the need for a redistribution of finances within football on a more equal basis and my view on this remains unchanged."

Television income represented 58 per cent of Charlton's £40.7m turnover last year. Top-flight clubs are subject to a random schedule if their match is selected to be broadcast live.

Murray feels that such a situation cannot continue in the long term, with most clubs' average attendances having dropped significantly earlier in the season - both for weekend domestic and midweek European matches.

"The lack of widespread competition for the Premiership title and the spread of matches across three days with a variety of kick-off times is something we must debate now as this could have an adverse effect on future attendance figures," he said.

"The consequences may have a significant effect on future commercial development at the majority of the Premier League clubs. At our club we have seen a reduction of some 1,500 season-ticket holders during the summer of 2005 and similar situations exist at other clubs. No business can afford to ignore its customers and that is something that football must heed if it is to avoid a sharp wake-up call.

"We have already seen a number of matches televised live this season where there were large gaps around the stadia and if this pattern continues there is a genuine risk that there will be an effect on the broadcasting revenues that all clubs receive."

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