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Premier League on YouTube floated as an idea to complete the season

The English Premier League could have some matches streamed for free on YouTube as a way to conclude the current campaign, according to reports.

As part of ‘Project Restart’, all 20 clubs will discuss how to get the current season done in any way they can, which has been suspended since March 13 due to Covid-19.

More talks and a vote held by Premier League representatives will involve proposals about how to resume the season, following the UK government’s plans to exit lockdown.

There are 92 games still to be played in England’s top flight and all will most likely be played behind closed doors.

Football bosses want fans to be able to watch every game live. According to The Times, there are proposals for games to be shown free on Sky Sports and BT Sport’s YouTube channels. However, not all matches will be shown at the same time to increase audience figures.

Sky Sports, under their existing agreement with the Premier League, were handed the rights to show half of the remaining 92 games before the season was paused.

47 matches are planned to be shown on Sky, which holds the majority of the broadcasting rights. The other 45 will need to be split between Sky, BT and Amazon Prime, however there had been no plans to give the latter more games to stream this season due to the proportion of the games they were contracted to show.

The BBC is unlikely to show any live games, but they could be allowed to feature highlights packages.

The Times suggests broadcasters are opposed to the idea of scrapping relegation as it would risk making TV contracts invalid and rendering many of the games meaningless. Six clubs have so far tried to block ‘Project Restart’ as they want relegation to be cancelled and the season to be made void.

The broadcasters and government will then be left to sort out a deal about how many matches would be shown on free-to-air channels such as YouTube.

As things stand, the Premier League is under pressure to finish off the season to protect the £762 million in TV money that would have to be repaid to broadcasters.

The Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, revealed last month he had spoken to the Premier League over the issue of TV coverage.

“It wouldn’t be the best signal if they were one of the first major sports to resume behind closed doors, and the public at large couldn’t have access to it,” he said.

“I don’t want to be in a position of issuing some blanket mandate or trying to change things round.

“But they do need to be mindful of that, and in fairness they are mindful of it.”

The last time Premier League matches were shown for free was on the opening day of the 2013-14 season when Sky showed Manchester United v Swansea, while Crystal Palace v Arsenal was free on BT.

Liam Watson is a Senior Journalist with Soccerscene. He reports widely on international football policy, industry matters and industry 4.0

LaLiga initiative to support grassroots football worldwide

LaLiga

LaLiga has announced the launch of LaLiga Grassroots, in a bid to further advance and improve its bespoke sports and training projects, as well as promote LaLiga’s know-how and methodology.

This initiative is part of a series of international sports projects that LaLiga have been running since 2015 across multiple markets, and its most outstanding new feature is a series of programmes which are set to take place in Spain. The programmes will mainly be held at ESC Madrid, regarded as a state-of-the-art and world-beating sports complex.

Juan Florit, head of LaLiga Sports Projects, will be in charge of the technical and sports side of LaLiga Grassroots.

“LaLiga Grassroots was conceived as a new specialised unit conceived by the Sports Projects team and the International Business and Development team,” Florit said.

“Our activities will mainly focus on the holistic development of young players, international training programmes for professionals in the sector, and projects to promote and support LaLiga clubs when it comes to their academies and running international tournaments.”

This new project represents a further step in LaLiga’s creation and execution of sports projects, an area through which it has enjoyed great success over the last six seasons.

The project is set to find positions for nearly 750 Spanish coaches, as well as provide training for more than 20,000 coaches and 175,000 players in the more than 400 projects carried out across 38 countries.

Javier Hernandez, Head of Business and International Development for the project, was excited to see LaLiga Grassroots finally launched.

“The work we’ve carried out over the years in training players and coaches internationally has taken things to the next level, not only for those who have worked with LaLiga, but also for the league itself and its clubs,” he said.

“We’re convinced that now, with the creation of LaLiga Grassroots and the new programmes that we’ll be running at the ESC Madrid Center, we’ll be able to create better opportunities for everyone.”

Football West CEO James Curtis steps down to usher in new leadership

Football West

Football West have announced that James Curtis will be stepping down from his position as Chief Executive Officer, after more than five years in the role. As he makes his transition, Football West have now commenced their succession planning.

The decision taken by Curtis reaffirms Football West’s dedication as an organisation to fostering long-term growth through the benefits provided by leadership succession.

Football West Chairman Sherif Andrawes praised Curtis’ strong leadership and commitment to delivering a long-term legacy for football in Western Australia, since commencing in the role in 2016.

“James has been an outstanding CEO and his focus on driving long-term growth, investment and community benefit have contributed to a bright future for football,” Andrawes said.

“His commitment to working with all parts of the WA community and government to engage with football and being a leader driving diversity, inclusion and engagement has ensured football is positioned well for the future of the game.

“With significant achievements including funding for the long-awaited WA State Football Centre, securing the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in WA and establishing the Football Futures Foundation, there have been many successes during his tenure.”

Curtis conveyed that it was the right time to step down from the role and to transition leadership, with Football West strongly positioned for leveraging record growth.

“We have built a great team across Western Australia that is well positioned to continue building on our strong foundations. After more than five years in the position and rebuilding from the impact of COVID-19, we are ready for a new CEO to implement and deliver our future strategy,” Curtis said.

“I have enjoyed working closely with our Board and our valued partners across government, corporate and the football community to deliver major milestones for the game in WA and establish strong partnerships across Asia for WA football.

“We have a vibrant and passionate football community that will continue to grow on the back of strong clubs and volunteers and our dedicated Football West team.”

Curtis will continue his involvement with football as a Non-Executive Director of Football Futures Foundation – which is chaired by Nick Tana, and supporting the transition to find the new CEO.

Football West has commenced an internal and external search for the company’s next CEO.

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