Premier League clubs have agreed to share at least £1bn of their record UK TV rights deal with lower league sides and grassroots football. The money will include parachute payments to relegated clubs and a living wage for all full-time staff.
The Premier League sold the live TV rights for £5.136bn to Sky and BT for three years from 2016.
Donations have risen 40% from £700m after TV rights money increased by 70% from £3bn.
The £1bn figure, agreed at a meeting of Premier League clubs on Thursday, is dependent on a regulatory challenge from Ofcom and income from international TV rights sales.
In addition to providing parachute payments to relegated teams, the Premier League’s member clubs agreed to invest in five key areas:
- Grassroots facilities
- Fan engagement and match day experience
- Solidarity with lower leagues
- Supporting disadvantaged groups
Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore said: “These are unprecedented levels of redistribution in world sport, let alone football, which will deliver long-term progress for English football whether you are a fan, lower-league club or involved in the grassroots.”
All full-time staff at Premier League clubs will be paid the living wage – based on the amount an individual needs to earn to cover the basic costs of living – by the start of the 2016-17 season.
The living wage is currently set at £9.15 an hour in London and £7.85 an hour in the rest of the UK.
Rhys Moore, of the Living Wage Foundation, said: “It is definitely a move in the right direction. However, the vast majority of low-paid work in the Premier League is with sub-contractors. “This commitment doesn’t address that, which is why we think living wage accreditation is so important. The commitment Chelsea made to become the only accredited living wage employer in the Premier League goes so much further than this.”
The Premier League announcement came on the same day the Football Supporters’ Federation launched its latest protest about the cost of watching live football. It presented an open letter to Premier League chairmen, co-signed by fan groups from every top-flight club, detailing what it believes are key elements such as the cost of attending live matches and facilities for away fans.
A new structure of the Premier league board was also agreed at Thursday’s meeting.
Scudamore was appointed as executive chairman, alongside two independent non-executive directors, Claudia Arney and Kevin Beeston.
Text courtesy of BBC Sports