Premier League's big 6 face opposition on overseas TV revenue plans - reports
The Premier League's six wealthiest clubs -- Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham -- are facing significant opposition over a controversial proposal to revamp how overseas TV revenue is distributed throughout the division, according to reports.
At a meeting of the other 14 clubs reportedly held at the Pullman Hotel in London on Wednesday, Premier League chairman Richard Scudamore presented a plan that would see 35 percent of the income from the next international TV deal distributed according to final league position.
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.
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.
Everton, West Ham and Leicester City reportedly supported the 35 percent plan at the meeting, but 11 clubs remain firmly opposed and a majority of 14 clubs is required for any proposed change in the rules to pass.
Sources have told ESPN FC that another meeting involving all Premier League clubs will be held next Wednesday. If the proposal does not attract the required support to pass, Scudamore and the big six clubs will be forced to explore alternative plans in search of a compromise.
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.
Former Liverpool chief executive Ian Ayre sparked controversy in 2011 by arguing that his club deserved a greater than equal share, saying: "In Kuala Lumpur, there isn't anyone subscribing to ESPN to watch Bolton."
Chelsea and City did not respond when contacted by ESPN FC, while United, Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham declined to comment.
Liam is ESPN FC's Chelsea correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @Liam_Twomey.