What do you do when you come into £5.1 billion ($7.6 US billion) besides give more money to already multi millionaire soccer stars?
Yesterday in a posh part of London,hundreds of fans with banners,chants and megaphones gathered outside the plush headquarters of The Premier League where the 20 member clubs were meeting with the Executive Director Richard Scudamore and deciding what to do with so much cash. It was the result of the new 2016-17 EPL deal with SKY and BT SPORT and were hoping that OFCON would not dig too deeply into how it was handled.
Each of the clubs will get about £50 million ($75 million US) and The Championship clubs will probably double their £5 million gift. The fans are angry at the cost of match tickets, and particularly away matches, often played at times to suit the TV bosses. At present each club has to spend £200,000 a season subsidising tickets for visiting fans.
Scudamore is now promoted with a new title of EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN on a three person board that will include two independent members: CLAUDIA ARNEY Executive Director of The Halford Group, and KEVIN BEESTON Chairman of Taylor Wimpey. THE BIG SURPRISE though is the £1 BILLION to be given to the lower leagues and grass roots football through THE FOOTBALL FOUNDATION. www.thefootballfoundation.org.uk which is the largest sports charity in the UK. Grassroots, disabilty football, fan engagement and other projects are expected to benefit. "Almost inevitibly, whatever we do will not please all the people all the time" says Scudamore.
GREG DYKE, Chairman of The FA www.thefa.com, who earns big bucks for a two day week, has plans to spend £168 Million for hundreds of 3G pitches in urban areas,where England is far behind Germany and other European countries. He is Chancellor of The University of York, Chairman of Brentford FC, Chairman of the British Film Institute, Chairman of HiT Entertainment and a former Director General of the BBC and wants EPL TV money for his plans.
There is lots of talk these days, prior to a May General Election, about paying the minimum wage to full time employees of clubs. At present only CHELSEA FC comply. £9.15 an hour ($13.62 US), and £7.85 an hour ($11.70 US) elsewhere. Of course, the majority of people are paid part time as contracted labour, particularly on match day. Some clubs were hiring eager students on work experience jobs with little or no pay.
The evening before I was invited to The National Football Museum: www.nationalfootballmuseum.com in Manchester for the unveiling of the names of the 2015 HALL OF FAME inductees who will be present at the annual dinner in October. Gordon Taylor the PFA Director made the announcement. IVOR ALLCHURCH, BOB CROMPTON, NORMAN HUNTER, PAUL MCGRATH, ALAN MULLERY, GARY NEVILLE, STUART PEARCE. In addition JOHN BARNES who was voted in 2005 will be at the dinner to accept his award. PETE ACKERLY the F.As National Game Manager also announced two inductees supported by the F.A.; FAYE WHITE former Arsenal and England captain, and GARY DAVIES, captain of England's Cerebral Palsy team.
The museum is in its third year at the iconic URBIS BUILDING next to Manchester Cathedral and near trendy pubs, cafes, restaurants and shops and The Arndale Centre and renovated Victoria Station and round the corner from The Lower Turks Head pub..my favourite. It moved from Deepdale Stadium at Preston North End and has at least has quadrupled its visitor numbers annually.