Premier League clubs are frustrated at being painted as the bad guys over live games being shown on pay-per-view TV.
Clubs were told that it was the broadcasters, Sky and BT Sport, who set the £14.95 price which caused a huge fan backlash with the extra games being shown from this weekend.
An executive from one club said the reality was even if they doubled the price it would “not even touch the sides” when it came to making up their losses in revenue from gate receipts, commercial and TV deals.
Most clubs are refunding fans their season tickets anyway, so many supporters are getting their money back and many are better off even after having to shell out extra for the pay-per-view games.
But the average armchair fan now pays up to £200-a-month for their TV subscription and will have to find another £14.95 for games, starting from this weekend with the likes of Manchester United v Newcastle.
However, the clubs argue that those games were not due to be shown anyway, fans do not have to pay if they do not want and it was not them that set the price so they felt the message was landed badly last Friday when it was announced.
Premier League chief executive Richard Masters did a Zoom call for the media this week in which he was reluctant to talk about the furore but did indeed suggest it was the broadcasters who set the price which caused such uproar.
The theory as to why it is £14.95, according to one insider, is that TV companies do not actually want the extra hassle of having to show the games and it is the clubs who pushed for it to allow their fans to watch extra matches.
TV companies are already fed-up of losing the exclusive feel of their live Premier League games and, even though they do not make profit as the money goes to the clubs, did not want to play ball.
That is a bit rich as Sky, for example, do now show 12 extra games a season but they are still charging big subscription fees even though they have scrapped most of their programming and the shows that are left are pretty poor, barring Jeff Stelling’s Soccer Saturday with a much-changed cast list.
Sav breaking records on the airwaves
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Robbie Savage was in the headlines this week after becoming head of football operations at Macclesfield Town following a takeover of the club.
But Mirror Sport’s top columnist is also breaking records with Chris Sutton on BBC’s 6-0-6 show as they clocked up two million views on social media and took 600 calls after an England game which is pretty unprecedented for phone-ins.
Wembley could host 38,000 fans
Technology company ONHYS has produced detailed figures and a report suggesting that Wembley could let fans return with up to as many as 38,000.
Sébastien Paris, CEO and founder of ONHYS, said: “While Wembley Stadium has been holding sporting events behind closed doors and this looks set to remain the case for the foreseeable future, our analysis indicates that this approach may be overly cautious.
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It is hard to see crowds returning with infection rates soaring.
Wenger shows his entertaining side
Arsene Wenger has been hugely entertaining across a series of radio and TV interviews this week to promote his new autobiography, the pick of which must be his chat with Sky’s brilliant Geoff Shreeves.
His book My Life in Red and White is, quite frankly, very matter of fact. Wenger is so funny, a great character and yet he clearly wanted to avoid any controversy so played safe.
But Wenger is doing what sounds very interesting which is making a documentary “Arsène Wenger: Invincible” with Noah Media Group and Federation Entertainment, directed by hugely respected Gabriel Clarke and co-directed by sports journalist Christian Jeanpierre.
Filmed in London, Paris and Japan, and released next year, that should be a very good watch.
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