Portsmouth crisis self inflicted says Scudamore
Wednesday 21 April 2010
Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore believes relegated Portsmouth have nobody else to blame for their financial situation.
Pompey's debt is thought to be far higher than initially feared, with reports suggesting the club could owe as much as £119million.
The Fratton Park outfit - who have had four owners this season - were last month deducted nine points after going into administration, with their demotion from the top flight sealed on April 10.
Scudamore said: "You cannot link the distribution of income to Portsmouth's woes. I'm on record as saying in January that if a club, whilst in the Premier League, went into administration it would be down to bad management at the club. And it is.
"You can't say it's the way we distribute our money that's caused Portsmouth's problems."
Money distributed by the Premier League from the sale of television rights overseas is shared evenly between the 20 clubs - unlike domestic revenue - and Scudamore reckons this guaranteed income means there is no excuse for going into administration.
He told BBC Radio Five Live: "It is one of the great balancers of our league. All the money is distributed evenly, so Wigan and Burnley this season will have earned as much international television exposure as Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal.
"That's an important redistribution mechanism - and that's what stands us out from the other leagues in Europe, particularly the Spanish.
"Domestic money is not given out evenly - it is given out more on merit. Therefore, the most successful clubs get the most money.
"At the moment we're running about £50million largest club, 30million smallest clubs - so about 1.6-1.
"In the new deals that we've just done for next season that reduces to about 1.5-1, so we're narrowing the gap between top and bottom all the time."
When asked if the Premier League could throw the south-coast club a financial lifeline, Scudamore responded: "That's absolutely crazy. Whose money would you give them? Another club's money?
"If you start the season knowing you're going to get between £30million and £50million as a starter from the Premier League, through the year, it is entirely possible to get yourself organised so you don't get into the difficulties that Portsmouth got into."
The Premier League's success in selling their television rights overseas has been recognised by being given the Queen's Award for Enterprise.
The award, in the international trade category, reflects the league doubling the value of the rights from 2007-10 compared to the previous three-year period.
When the Premier League started in 1992 there was one international broadcast contract, and now there are 84 agreements across 211 territories.
The 2007-10 overseas TV deals were worth a total of £625million and the new contracts for 2010-13 are likely to be double that again.
"We've been very lucky to span those recession years," said Scudamore.
"We sold it before the thing really hit and they've come through and now we're out the other end of the cycle.
"We used to sell our rights to one agency who used to sell it around the world. We took a grip of that about 10 years ago and started to sell directly to individual broadcasters abroad.
"We now have 85 different contracts and agreements that cover those countries.
"It's a lot of hard work but effectively that's the mechanics of the process. What's really driven it is the international product that is the Premier League."
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