Six English clubs which have sparked an uproar by secretly agreeing to play in a European Super League (ESL) are preparing for face-off talks with the Premier League next week over a sanction which could include losing a game of next season’s broadcast revenue.
Sky News has learned that English football’s clubs and elite will be discussing fines totaling tens of millions of pounds in the coming days.
A source from one of the clubs said he understood the Premier League were debating penalties ranging from a one-time fine to a smaller immediate fine combined with a share of next season’s broadcast revenue.
An initial Premier League proposal made earlier this month would include a fine of £ 15million per club and a substantial points deduction – albeit suspended -, the club insider said.
It was not clear this weekend whether such a points penalty could be part of a possible settlement, although clubs are expected to vigorously oppose such an attempt.
The club source added that negotiations were ongoing and subject to “significant changes” before a deal was reached.
More talks are expected next week ahead of the Champions League final in Portugal between Chelsea and Manchester City – two of the rebel clubs who quickly abandoned ESL amid a huge backlash from rivals, fans and politicians.
Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur made up the English contingent, with three Italian and Spanish clubs also withdrawing from the project.
An idea set to be discussed next week would involve an immediate £ 1million fine and a 5% share of Premier League revenue next season – the same model agreed by the European football governing body with the clubs rebels.
If the fines are agreed according to this plan, they could amount to between £ 6m and £ 7.5m per club based on the broadcast income expected this season at Premier League champions Manchester City.
In total, the Premier League’s fine pool could exceed £ 40million, although the final tally will depend on the structure and scale of the eventual settlement, which could still be in a few weeks.
That figure would increase if it also included a share of the extra broadcast fees given to clubs this season because all games were broadcast live, and even more if the financial penalty included a share of the league’s central sponsorship revenue.
The Premier League announced earlier this month that it had reached an agreement with broadcast partners, including Sky, the immediate parent of Sky News, to renew its existing $ 4.7 billion television rights deal. pounds sterling for an additional three years.
Ministers approved this decision in principle due to the impact of the pandemic on club finances.
The fines imposed by the Premier League are likely to be larger overall for English clubs than those imposed by UEFA earlier this month.
The European football governing body has announced a package of “reinstatement measures” for the nine clubs which agreed to withdraw from ESL during a scorching 48-hour period at the end of April.
Including AC Milan, Internazionale and Atletico Madrid, they have agreed to pay a collective € 15million (£ 12.9million) to invest in children’s, youth and grassroots football. , With 5% of their income from UEFA club competitions being withheld for one season.
They also agreed to much larger future fines – totaling € 150m – for failing to meet UEFA Club Declaration of Commitment commitments or subscribing to a similar separation format.
Barcelona, Juventus and Real Madrid have refused to give up on ESL, raising the prospect of their exclusion from the Champions League next season.
Arsenal and Manchester United will have received relatively modest European earnings this season as the Gunners failed to advance to the Champions League, while United qualified but did not reach the knockout stage and had to join Arsenal. in the Europa League.
UEFA has not yet specified which season the 5% income penalty will apply.
In an attempt to prevent future separation offers, the Premier League announced the creation of an ‘owners charter’, which it said was supported by the Football Federation.
He added recently that the participation of the six clubs in ESL “had called into question the foundations and the determination of English football”.
The government should welcome the decision to punish the six, although it is uncertain whether the financial penalties imposed on them will simply be redistributed among the other 14 top clubs.
The confirmation of ESL’s existence, which came six months after Sky News revealed key details of the project, has sparked unprecedented protests against the owners of many participating English clubs.
Arsenal have since received an unsolicited takeover bid from Spotify billionaire Daniel Ek, as Manchester United’s biggest shareholders, the Glazer family, face growing demands to relinquish control.
The leaders of the six clubs have been removed from several Premier League subcommittees – a move that could be overturned if they agreed to a financial settlement.
A fan-led review of football governance was commissioned by the government under the leadership of Tracey Crouch, the former sports minister.
Its panelists will include the general managers of Everton FC and the Football Supporters Association.
The Premier League declined to comment on Saturday.