PURSE FOR TV RIGHTS COULD BE SHARED IN SHAKE-UP
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.