The Premier League‘s new TV rights contract with Sky and BT gives them a chance to terminate their £25million-a-year agreement with the Professional Footballers’ Association.
The top-flight clubs choose where a lot of that cash is spent — often youth development and charitable causes — but a proportion is left to the discretion of the union, who paid their chief executive Gordon Taylor a £2.3m annual package that has provoked widespread outrage.
It is scandalous that the PFA are bankrolled by TV money when their many multi-millionaire members could easily self-fund an organisation turned into a personal fiefdom by Taylor over his 37 years at the helm.
PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor’s annual package has provoked widespread outrage
But the PL deal — first negotiated after Taylor threatened to take the players out on strike in 2001 — is renewed for every three-year TV rights cycle, with the next one starting in 2019-20.
The PL say they will be meeting Taylor at some stage to discuss the contract. Yet they said the same three years ago after the domestic auction for the contract that has one more season and another £25m payment to the PFA to go. The FA and Football League also give money to the PFA without any say on how it is spent.
The Premier League announced the winners of five out of seven packages for TV rights
Hampshire chairman Rod Bransgrove has reacted more philosophically than expected to his beloved Ageas Bowl missing out again on an Ashes match in 2023, despite being the only English cricket Test venue never to stage one.
Bransgrove said: ‘I haven’t lost my ambition. I’m still hoping one day to sit at the Ageas Bowl and watch an Ashes Test. But by the time I get there I’m going to be very wrinkly indeed. It’s disappointing but I’m thrilled to be one of the new Twenty20 hosts and we have a number of other white-ball games.’
Hampshire chairman Rod Bransgrove (L) saw Ageas Bowl miss out on Ashes match in 2023
Pengilly security shame
Britain’s highly respected IOC member Adam Pengilly, a former Olympic skeleton slider, has been sent home from Pyeongchang after an incident with a security guard.
The 40-year-old ran past a Korean guard following a stand-off as Pengilly tried to take a short cut. The guard gave chase and fell over, allegedly injuring himself.
Pengilly said: ‘It was my mistake, I should have turned around and I apologise for swearing. There was no fight or scuffle, but I have let myself and others down.’
Former Olympic skeleton slider Adam Pengilly has been sent home from Pyeongchang
Edgbaston will host cricket’s T20 Blast final this summer and for another five years starting in 2020. But bizarrely, Trent Bridge has been chosen to stage the 2019 final.
Warwickshire will be negotiating with Notts and the ECB over an exchange or a financial deal so they can host the event uninterrupted.
Meanwhile, the ECB were hoping to announce a commercial deal with all 18 counties at the same time as they unveiled the Ashes venues for 2023.
But such is the discord with 10 of the counties, who will not be staging internationals or matches in the new T20 tournament, that any deal remains a long way off. The disgruntled counties want an ownership share in the T20.
Edgbaston will host cricket’s T20 Blast final this summer and for another five years from 2020
It has emerged that even football-playing rich kids closeted in a boarding school high in Derbyshire’s Peak District were not safe from serial paedophile Barry Bennell, found guilty of 43 sex offences yesterday.
Bennell took a Manchester City junior team to a six-a-side tournament at the school close to his Whaley Bridge home, then spent a number of years there in the 1980s as a part-time coach. He proved very popular with the unsuspecting boys.
It was only 30 years later, when Bennell was implicated in football’s child sex abuse scandal, that the teachers of the time realised they could not have chosen a worse person to have access to boys aged 11-13.
Those pupils were probably fortunate that going to a strict boarding school meant Bennell could not lure any of them to his home for an overnight stay.