AHEAD OF THE GAME: England U21s’ European Championship is in danger of a TV blackout, Sky plan to EXPAND Soccer Saturday despite making huge cuts… and Huddersfield owner Dean Hoyle is set to earn NOTHING from the club’s impending sale
- The Under 21s’ European Championships is at risk of not being televised this year
- Sky Sports are planning to expand Soccer Saturday despite cuts elsewhere
- Huddersfield Town owner Dean Hoyle stands to make nothing from club’s sale
England Under 21s’ European Championship campaign may not be televised in this country as UEFA have yet to do a UK broadcast deal with less than three months to go until the tournament.
Sky Sports have broadcast the Under 21 Euros since 2007, but have reduced their coverage of international football over the last 12 months due to cost-cutting measures and have yet to bid for the competition.
England’s qualifying matches were shown on BBC iPlayer, as will be today’s friendly with France and Lee Carsley’s side meeting with Croatia on Tuesday, but UEFA want guarantees of a bigger audience for the finals in one of their biggest TV markets.
Sky opted against bidding for the senior qualifiers for Euro 2024, which enabled Channel 4 to snap up the rights in a cut-price deal which began with England’s historic victory in Italy on Thursday, but terrestrial broadcasters are reluctant to commit to showing an Under 21 tournament on their main channels which has led to the current stand-off with UEFA.
This year’s Under 21s European Championships are in danger of not being shown on UK TV
Bright Bloom covers his back
Brighton owner Tony Bloom has taken out an insurance policy against his club qualifying for Europe or winning a trophy this season. The shrewd move by Bloom will ensure that all bonuses owed to Brighton’s players for European qualification or silverware will be paid by a third party should their results this season trigger a performance-related payment.
Roberto De Zerbi’s side remain in the hunt for lucrative bonus payments on two fronts, as they are just outside the Europa League qualifying spots on goal difference and will face Manchester United in the FA Cup semi-finals next month.
Brighton owner Tony Bloom has taken out an insurance policy against his side winning a trophy or qualifying for European football
Hoyle to be out of pocket
Huddersfield owner Dean Hoyle will not receive a penny from the impending sale to an American investment group, a deal revealed by Sportsmail earlier this week, unless the club secure an unexpected return to the Premier League.
The Championship club’s most likely destination in the short-term is League One, as Neil Warnock’s side are three points from safety with eight games left having been in the bottom three all season, although by selling up Hoyle has at least prevented them being docked 12 points for entering administration.
Hoyle has agreed to write off over £40million owed to him by the club as well as covering their costs of around £6m for the rest of the season, although the latter figure will be repaid when the takeover is completed.
The local businessman will not receive a dividend from the sale unless Huddersfield are promoted to the top flight for only the second time in their history, an achievement which would see Hoyle paid a small bonus.
Huddersfield owner Dean Hoyle is set to make nothing from the club’s impending sale
Soccer Saturday expansion
Sky Sports are planning to expand their flagship results programme Soccer Saturday next season despite imposing dramatic cuts in other areas, with Soccer AM facing the axe and 13 football reporters told they must reapply for their jobs.
Soccer Saturday producers in contrast have been told they will be moving to a bigger studio next season and that an extra panellist will be used every week, with five pundits to work alongside long-serving host Jeff Stelling.
Sky are planning to expand their flagship Soccer Saturday programme despite making cuts elswhere
National League promotion request delayed
The National League’s hopes of being given three promotion positions to the EFL are likely to be delayed due to the latter’s continuing stand-off with the Premier League over a new funding arrangement for the lower divisions.
The EFL have made it clear they are willing to consider the National League’s request, but only as part of the larger financial reset for the whole game that chairman Rick Parry has been demanding.
With no agreement with the Premier League in sight there are no plans to discuss moving to a system of three up/three down from League Two at the EFL’s annual meeting this summer, which means the proposed change will not be in place next season.
The Premier League have offered to increase funding to the EFL to £125million a year, but that is still half the amount demanded by Parry, and the top flight are also resisting significant changes to the parachute payment system.
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