League to give at least £1b of TV money to lower divisions and grassroots organisations
London: Premier League clubs on Thursday agreed to share at least £1 billion (Dh5.46 billion) of television money to team and grassroots organisations outside the top flight from next year.
The sum is 20 per cent of the 20 Premier League teams’ income from the £5.1 billion domestics rights package announced last month and will go to grassroots football, solidarity payments to clubs in the Championship, League One and League Two, participation, as well being used for education and disadvantaged groups.
The clubs have also agreed they will all pay all full-time staff the ‘living wage’ as the bottom line rather than the minimum wage.
In another significant move, Richard Scudamore has been promoted from chief executive to executive chairman.
The league has warned, however, the £1 billion distribution depends on a “satisfactory outcome” of Virgin Media’s complaint to Ofcom over the way rights are sold, which is being investigated by the regulator, and overseas rights sales.
“These are unprecedented levels of redistribution in world sport, let alone football, which will deliver long-term progress for English football whether you are a fan, lower league club or involved in the grassroots,” Scudamore said.
“Clearly this package is dependent on the outcome of our international live rights and the ongoing Ofcom investigation, so the detail won’t be known until later this year or in early 2016.
“The clubs have always stepped up to the plate when it comes to sharing their success. They appreciate that the development of the Premier League is contingent to a high degree on continued high levels of passionate support and a vibrant football pyramid.”
The investment announced is in addition to the commitment to provide parachute payments to the three clubs relegated from the top-flight each season.