PURSE FOR TV RIGHTS COULD BE SHARED IN SHAKE-UP

The Non-League Football Paper - - RESULTS SERVICE - By Sam El­liott

THE FA Cup could be set for its big­gest fi­nan­cial shake-up ever – and that would be fan­tas­tic news for Non-League clubs.

The Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion are de­bat­ing a rad­i­cal plan to do away with live broad­cast fees for se­lected tele­vi­sion matches and in­stead siz­ably en­hance the prize fund mean­ing more clubs share the com­pe­ti­tion’s wealth.

First round winners cur­rently bank £18,000, which in­creases to £27,000 in the sec­ond. Winners from this week­end’s tie take home £67,500 – and those fig­ures could be at least dou­bled in the years ahead.

Third round matches se­lected for TV this week­end have en­raged many af­ter ev­ery sin­gle Non-League club was ig­nored. That re­jec­tion cost clubs a £144,000 live fee with Premier League heavy­weights Manch­ester United, Liver­pool and Tot­ten­ham again all cho­sen – de­spite be­ing at home to lower league op­po­si­tion.

Satur­day’s match at Old Traf­ford with Cham­pi­onship side Read­ing is the 55th suc­ces­sive time that 12-time winners United have been broad­cast live in the FA Cup.

Sut­ton United, Bar­row and Stour­bridge – all fly­ing the flag for Non-League foot­ball yes­ter­day – have all gone pub­lic with their dis­ap­point­ment that their ties were over­looked for the lu­cra­tive live slot in favour of seem­ingly less at­trac­tive ties.

The FA have no say in which matches are se­lected, with the BBC and BT Sport ex­ec­u­tives given free rein to pick the ties they want to show.

Dis­com­fort has been grow­ing for quite some time with the coun­try’s rich clubs get­ting richer and the ro­mance of the com­pe­ti­tion ig­nored be­cause of such rat­ing-chas­ing – but, ac­cord­ing to that could be about to change.

Un­der new pro­pos­als the cash given will now be dis­trib­uted into a pot, with prize money sub­stan­tially in­creased. Al­though it is un­clear if that will be­gin when the com­pe­ti­tion starts in Au­gust at the ex­tra preliminary round or the first round when Foot­ball League sides en­ter.

The FA re­cently agreed a sixyear TV deal for over­seas rights worth in the re­gion of £820m.

It is be­ing re­ported that the gov­ern­ing body have recog­nised the anom­aly and will use the money earned from the bumper new con­tract to pump cash fur­ther down the Pyra­mid.

It is un­der­stood that a stan­dard TV fee may still be given to clubs, a form of com­pen­sa­tion with ex­tra costs for a broad­cast taken into con­sid­er­a­tion – as well as the fact that a tele­vi­sion match could im­pact on at­ten­dances.

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