Comments by Manchester United’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward last summer continue to rile clubs opposing Big Six-led attempts to grab more of the Premier League’s TV cash.
Woodward, along with his Manchester City counterpart Ferran Soriano, are now perceived as the club leaders doing most to push for a 35 per cent share of the overseas funds being awarded by league position from the next deal rather than being equally shared.
The issue has split the PL ahead of Wednesday’s vote, with nine clubs in the Big Six camp and 11 opposed and showing no signs of budging despite the lobbying being done by PL executive chairman Richard Scudamore to achieve the 14-6 majority necessary for a rule change.
Manchester United director Ed Woodward is eyeing a greater share of Premier League TV cash
Premier League chief Richard Scudamore faces a £1bn split among clubs over TV money
Minutes from the PL’s AGM in June detail Woodward’s concern that all clubs in the top flight can afford to buy players from overseas, making the transfer market that much harder for clubs who ‘traditionally qualify for the Champions League’.
That view caused a stir at the time, and continues to do so.
It has been interpreted by some PL outfits as fat cats United and their ilk not wanting clubs who finish lower in the division interfering with their business.
How dare they. And it has hardened opinion ahead of a PL vote that looks like being a major reverse for ringmaster Scudamore unless a more acceptable option is put on the table.
The Big Six, led by Manchester City chief executive Ferran Soriano, want more of the bounty
The MCC face yet more upheaval with unpopular chairman Gerald Corbett encountering strong opposition from those who do not want him awarded a second three-year term.
The trustees and MCC committee, who contain an influential anti-Corbett group, will have to make a decision by early 2018 ahead of May’s AGM reappointment schedule.
Corbett’s super busy hands-on approach has not gone down well at Lord’s. But when asked if he was aware of a possible coup against him, he said: ‘I’m always interested in members’ opinions.’
The ECB’S planning around eight city-based sides for their T20 tournament starting in 2020 is concentrating on market research to help pick venues most likely to deliver big crowds.
The major headache appears to be Cardiff, which is far from certain to sell out.
It is likely the team based in Cardiff will also play in Bristol and Taunton. The other seven grounds are expected to be the six major Test venues — Lord’s, The Oval, Trent Bridge, Edgbaston, Old Trafford and Headingley — plus Southampton’s Ageas Bowl.
The ECB are concerned that Cardiff may not sell out if selected as a host for a new T20 event
Tigers trump Toffees for Elstone’s support
Everton fans might not be impressed — especially after their disappointing start to the season having just spent £150m — to hear CEO Robert Elstone was not present to witness Thursday’s Europa League 2-2 draw with Cypriot side Apollon Limassol.
Elstone decided to go and cheer on his beloved Castleford Tigers in their 23-22 Super League play-off semi-final win against St Helens rather than attend Goodison Park.
Elstone is understood to have apologised in advance, calling it a once-in-a-lifetime chance for a Castleford fan.
Everton CEO Robert Elstone was not at Thursday’s embarrassing draw with Apollon Limassol
Lee Westwood, who is near the top of the leaderboard after two rounds of golf’s British Masters — where he is also tournament host — is now officially an IMG client following his sad split from Chubby Chandler’s ISM.
And IMG golf agent Adrian Mitchell, who represents Padraig Harrington, has been assigned to look after Westwood as well. It will take some getting used to — with Westwood having been so synonymous with Chubby’s golf set-up.
Lee Westwood prowls around the 18th green in front of a promotional image of himself