TV CASH MAKES IT CLOSED SHOP AT SUMMIT
SO much for the Premier League TV deal ushering in a golden new era of milk and honey. As far as I can deduce, all it’s really done is shaft the Football League.
Nobody is getting richer. The new TV rights package, worth £5.136bn over the next three years, represents a 71 per cent increase on the previous deal.
Meanwhile, this summer’s record-breaking £1.2bn transfer spend was a 37 per cent rise on last summer’s total.
On paper, that looks like a healthy balance sheet. But last summer’s cash was splashed in the knowledge that a big increase was round the corner, a tactic widely known as ‘a Ridsdale’.
For a more comparable figure, you have to go back to 2013, the first year of the previous rights deal.
Back then, Premier League clubs spent £630m, a whopping 90 per cent less than the 2016 outlay. Factor in rising wage costs and what you currently have are 20 clubs collectively spending twice what they used to on just three-quarters more income.
History suggests they will spend more again next year. And it’s not like they can even claim to be asset rich. Their players were bought at such a grotesquely inflated premium that nobody outside the Premier League could possibly afford them.
The Premier League offers relegated clubs parachute payments worth £87m. Thus cushioned, we have already seen Aston Villa and Newcastle account for all but one of the five most expensive signings in Championship history.
Even a relatively affluent club like Brighton were comprehensively outbid by Norwich for Alex Pritchard.
Right now, we are still in a position where Huddersfield can top the table. Two years down the line, it is difficult to see how a club of their stature will stand a chance.