Get set for new era of Premier greed as TV bubble swells

 

When the envelopes containing sealed bids for the new Premier League television contracts were opened, there was apparently "a gasp" at the size of them.

The TV bubble, far from having burst as many doomsayers had predicted in these hard economic times, has expanded to proportions unimagined by even Richard Scudamore, the chief executive who continues in the manner of West Ham United's theme song to blow bigger financial bubbles than ever, without any sign of their fading and dying.

It was one of the most dramatic moments in an often fraught relationship between the national sport and the box in the corner (increasingly the widescreen on the mantlepiece) since Alan Sugar, manufacturer of Amstrad dishes, dashed to a phone booth after seeing ITV's bid for the first Premier League contract 20 years ago and told BSkyB's Sam Chisholm, "you have to blow them out of the water". Not only did Sky take his advice that day, but they are still doing so, so vital is football to their business, and new contenders such as BT Vision appear to have followed suit. That is the only conclusion from a cumulative increase from £1.7billion agreed three years ago to the staggering new figure of £3.018 billion for three seasons from 2013-14.

The author and broadcast consultant Alex Fynn was in at the beginning, as an executive of Saatchi and Saatchi, advising the Football Association about the formation of their Premier League and how to handle television. His complaint these days is that the FA, having managed to lose control of what was their own competition, have forfeited millions of pounds that could have been used for the good of the game as a whole instead of benefiting only the elite.

"The Premier League has done a marvellous job for their members but English football is more important than 20 clubs," he said the day after last week's announcement. "The 20 have all the hype and most of the money and that's not beneficial for the English game. The FA should have said from the start that they would take some of it, for education, coaching, kids, women's football and so on. We could have had the National Football Centre at Burton built 20 years ago." What of the £167m, or 14 per cent of income, that the League claims to pass on every year to those lower down the food chain? "It's fine having, for instance, parachute payments for colleagues who've fallen on hard times. But they're distributing largesse because they can afford to. It's like Wayne Rooney giving a bellboy £200 as a tip."

As for where all this new money will go, Fynn essentially believes in what Sugar called "the prune-juice effect", going straight through the system and out again – in this case into the players' pockets: "The horrific side-product of it is the possibility of a £300,000 a week footballer. Because there is no life outside the Premier League, the players call the shots."

The Queens Park Rangers chief executive Phil Beard insists that is "not necessarily" the case, but admits after his club survived on the dramatic final day: "It does make it even more important not to be one of the three teams that don't stay in the Premier League. It went to the wire at the top and the bottom last season and that's one of the reasons why the TV companies pay the money."

That money is estimated to be worth up to £20m more for each club from 2013, therefore giving the club that comes bottom of the table more than the £60.6m that Manchester City have just received for finishing top. Where will it end? With more of the same, analysts believe. Overseas rights, even more lucrative than the domestic contract last time, have yet to be auctioned again and there is not shortage of interested parties. Al Jazeera, who have taken significant television rights in France and already have Gary Lineker presenting Champions' League football, are expected to be among them; then there is new media, which could further transform the landscape.

"I am really hoping that it will get invested in other things besides just playing talent," Scudamore said of the new bonanza. Do not hold your breath.

2011/12 Premier League income from broadcasting:

Arsenal - £56,223,505

Aston Villa - £42,104,709

Blackburn Rovers - £40,317,633

Bolton Wanderers - £40,594,585

Chelsea - £54,436,429

Everton - £48,900,267

Fulham - £47,390,143

Liverpool - £54,360,635

Manchester City - £60,602,289

Manchester United - £60,325,337

Newcastle United - £54,235,271

Norwich City - £45,603,067

QPR - £43,262,087

Stoke City - £43,614,833

Sunderland - £44,369,895

Swansea City - £45,880,019

Tottenham Hotspur - £57,380,883

West Brom - £46,635,081

Wigan Athletic - £42,859,771

Wolves - £39,084,461

Championship teams receiving parachute payments

Birmingham City - £15,475,005

Blackpool - £15,475,005

Burnley - £12,219,732

Hull City - £12,219,732

Middlesbrough - £4,081,548

Portsmouth - £12,219,732

West Ham United - £15,475,005

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Robert De Niro, Martin Scorsese and DiCaprio, at an awards show in 2010
filmsDe Niro, DiCaprio and Pitt to star
News
i100
News
In this photo illustration a school student eats a hamburger as part of his lunch which was brought from a fast food shop near his school, on October 5, 2005 in London, England. The British government has announced plans to remove junk food from school lunches. From September 2006, food that is high in fat, sugar or salt will be banned from meals and removed from vending machines in schools across England. The move comes in response to a campaign by celebrity TV chef Jamie Oliver to improve school meals.
science
Sport
England captain Wayne Rooney during training
FOOTBALLNew captain vows side will deliver against Norway for small crowd
Life and Style
Red or dead: An actor portrays Hungarian countess Elizabeth Báthory, rumoured to have bathed in blood to keep youthful
health
News
peopleJustin Bieber charged with assault and dangerous driving after crashing quad bike into a minivan
News
peopleHis band Survivor was due to resume touring this month
News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Life and Style
fashionModel of the moment shoots for first time with catwalk veteran
Sport
Radamel Falcao poses with his United shirt
FOOTBALLRadamel Falcao's journey from teenage debutant in Colombia to Manchester United's star signing
Life and Style
fashionAngelina Jolie's wedding dressed revealed
Caption competition
Caption competition
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

Chief inspector of GPs: ‘Most doctors don’t really know what bad practice can be like for patients’

Steve Field: ‘Most doctors don’t really know what bad practice can be like for patients’

The man charged with inspecting doctors explains why he may not be welcome in every surgery
Stolen youth: Younger blood can reverse many of the effects of ageing

Stolen youth

Younger blood can reverse many of the effects of ageing
Bob Willoughby: Hollywood's first behind the scenes photographer

Bob Willoughby: The reel deal

He was the photographer who brought documentary photojournalism to Hollywood, changing the way film stars would be portrayed for ever
Hollywood heavyweights produce world's most expensive corporate video - for Macau casino

Hollywood heavyweights produce world's most expensive corporate video - for Macau casino

Scorsese in the director's chair with De Niro, DiCaprio and Pitt to star
Angelina Jolie's wedding dress: made by Versace, designed by her children

Made by Versace, designed by her children

Angelina Jolie's wedding dressed revealed
Anyone for pulled chicken?

Pulling chicks

Pulled pork has gone from being a US barbecue secret to a regular on supermarket shelves. Now KFC is trying to tempt us with a chicken version
9 best steam generator irons

9 best steam generator irons

To get through your ironing as swiftly as possible, invest in one of these efficient gadgets
England v Norway: Wayne Rooney admits England must ‘put on a show’ to regain faith

Rooney admits England must ‘put on a show’ to regain faith

New captain vows side will deliver for small Wembley crowd
‘We knew he was something special:’ Radamel Falcao's journey from teenage debutant to Manchester United's star signing

‘We knew he was something special’

Radamel Falcao's journey from teenage debutant to Manchester United's star signing
'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York