LONDON — Premier League clubs have unanimously agreed to postpone a decision on a controversial proposal to end the equal sharing of overseas TV revenue until November, the organisation confirmed to ESPN FC.
A meeting with representatives from all 20 Premier League clubs was held in London on Wednesday, but no agreement could be reached on the plan that would see 35 percent of the income from the next international TV deal distributed according to final league position.
The division’s six wealthiest clubs — Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool — are all reportedly in favour of the proposal, but a majority of 14 is required for any change in the rules to be actioned and many of the smaller clubs remain vehemently opposed.
A Premier League spokesperson told ESPN FC: “Premier League clubs today met and discussed the future development of the league. Clubs unanimously agreed to adjourn the meeting to allow further discussion.”
Under the present arrangement overseas TV revenue — worth around £3 billion — is shared equally among all 20 Premier League clubs, while two-thirds of domestic broadcast income is divided according to where clubs finish in the table and how many times their matches are shown live.
The next meeting of all Premier League clubs is scheduled to take place in November, though it is possible that the proposal could be amended before it is put up for discussion again.
United, City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham have long been credited with a serious interest in overhauling the current distribution system of overseas TV revenue, arguing that they are the driving force of the Premier League’s appeal outside the UK.
The proposal would come into effect for the next overseas TV rights deal, which will run from 2019 to 2022 and is expected to be put out to tender later this year.
Last season the plan would have seen each club given a guaranteed £25 million in overseas TV income rather than the £39m they received, meaning 20th-placed Sunderland would have been £14m worse off.
Liam is ESPN FC’s Chelsea correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @Liam_Twomey.