Premier League clubs to hold talks with broadcasters about screening EVERY behind closed doors game live… just over a week until the new season starts
- Sportsmail has learned that the majority of clubs support the proposal
- Currently, 220 matches will be aired live this season out of 380 in total
- Premier League yet to adopt EFL’s model of streaming games on club websites
- Talks are planned with the Premier League’s broadcast partners next week
The Premier League will hold talks with broadcasters next week with a view to screening every game live until fans return to stadiums on October 3.
Sportsmail has learned that a majority of clubs at Thursday’s shareholders’ meeting supported the principle that fans should be able to watch games while they are unable to attend, although they have yet to agree how to make it work with only a week until the Premier League season starts next Saturday.
The Premier League announced last month that an additional 20 matches would be broadcast next season, taking the number of live games to 220 out of the 380 to be played, but stopped short of adopting the policy introduced by the Football League of streaming every game on club websites.
Every Premier League game played without fans may be available to watch on TV or online
Aston Villa vs Sheffield United was the first game played behind closed doors post-lockdown
The Premier League’s initial caution sprang from concern that making every game available live could impact on season-ticket sales and lead to demands for rebates from broadcasters but the increasingly vocal complaints from fans, which have been supported by the Government, have led to a rethink. Further talks are planned with the clubs and broadcasters next week.
The clubs also gave their approval in principle to the Premier League Board’s proposal to curtail next season if they decide that it cannot be completed in full by August 11 at the latest, a plan revealed by Sportsmail on Thursday.
The board’s suggestion for a cut-off 80 days after the scheduled end of the season on May 23, which would be used to trigger a curtailment vote if necessary, was unanimously agreed but the clubs failed to agree on the number of games to be played for the campaign to be deemed complete.
More talks will take place next week over the two options presented by the Premier League, which were for sporting consequences such as awarding titles, promotion and relegation and qualification for the European competitions, after either 66 per cent or 75 per cent of the scheduled matches have been played.
Sky Sports and the Premier League’s other broadcast partners could air even more matches
A curtailment plan will come into effect next season if campaign is not completed by August 11
The clubs did agree that if an uneven number of matches had been played at the time of curtailment then points-per-game would be used to determine final league positions.
As expected, the clubs also voted to drop the five substitutes rule that was introduced during Project Restart, reverting to only three being allowed from the start of next season.
It was the second vote to be taken in as many months for five substitutes and was defeated by 11 votes to nine.