Scottish Premier Football League TV deal with Sky Sports loses momentum


The Scottish Professional Football League’s (SPFL) proposed new UK£29.5 million-a-season ($53.2 million AUD) domestic broadcast partnership with Sky Sports is reportedly in doubt after Rangers failed to lend their support to the deal.

Sky has been the sole broadcaster of the Scottish top-flight since the start of the 2020/21 season, having previously shared the rights with BT Sport. The SPFL’s current deal is worth UK£26 million ($46.8 million AUD) a year for up to 48 games a year that lasts until 2025.

Under the terms of the new proposal, Sky would be allowed to show up to 60 matches a season, and obliged to show at least 42, with the option of adding another 10 matches a year at a cost of $6.8 million AUD. Clubs would also be permitted to offer up to five matches on a pay-per-view basis if they have not been selected by Sky.

The Daily Mail reported that all 12 Scottish Premiership Clubs were asked to vote on the deal and to give permission for Sky to increase the number of home games they show from each stadium from four to five. While all other 11 top-flight teams did so, Rangers did not submit a response and the SPFL resolution collapsed.

Rangers are involved in a separate dispute involving the Premiership’s title sponsorship with Cinch but it is also believed the club believe the SPFL could secure a more lucrative deal than the one on the table.

It is now believed the SPFL will hold an emergency meeting to decide how to proceed and whether the deal can be approved by a majority of clubs rather than unanimously.

The SPFL’s current TV deal has critics among those who believe it does not reflect the true value of Scottish football, especially when compared to other European leagues of similar stature. Equally, others are frustrated by the fact that Sky does not broadcast all of the games it is entitled to each season, denying fans of some clubs the opportunity to see their team on TV.

This extension has also attracted criticism, with some commentators believing the SPFL should seek to benefit from increasing competition from streaming services. BT Sport has merged with Discovery, Viaplay has acquired Premier Sports, and DAZN and Amazon are on the lookout for opportunistic deals.

Rangers have been one of the clubs to have criticised the regime and a separate Deloitte report was commissioned by five SPFL clubs in total – additionally Aberdeen, Dundee United, Hearts and Hibernian suggested the SPFL should be targeting closer to UK£50 million ($85.1 million AUD) a year. However, all five have reportedly acquiesced to the SPFL’s proposal, binding them into a contract until 2029.

An amenities refresher for NSW grassroots custodian

The NSW Football Legacy Program has worked in conjunction with the Bayside Council in providing $150,000 to the Bexley North Football Club (BNFC) who join the vast growing number of successful applicants of the Infrastructure Stream, which is the second round screening process.

The Football Legacy program is a $10 million investment founded by the NSW Government. The program’s intention is to continue the established growth of female football through freshly refurbished community facilities.

Furthermore, development programs, participation initiatives and potential ventures involving tourism and international engagement are all at the forefront of the overall objective the NSW government has regarding the growth of football within the state.

The $150,000 grant in which BNFC are receiving is going to be spent sparingly. Kingsgrove Avenue Reserve is in dire need of a rejuvenation, given the club’s recent rise to popular interest within the Football St George Association, BNFC experienced an astounding spike in membership.

Since the 2021 season, the club witnessed a spike in members, a 35% increase surge in overall involvement, highlighted by a 40% increase in female involvement.

The traffic that the club began to experience was a confronting yet exciting time for the community operated club. Their previous facilities could not cater for the extravagant influx of participants, hence the club opting to collaborate with the Bayside Council.

The grant successfully attained will be used to upgrade the amenities at Kingsgrove Avenue Reserve from top to bottom. The newly furbished facility has hosts a conference room, referee room, medical room, canteen, and storage area.

Further funding requested by BNFC is expected to be utilized in rejuvenating the current change rooms and bathrooms, as well as a through fixup of the established home and away locker rooms. The end goal insight, is to accommodate highly regarded women’s footballing outlets in the future.

BNFC President Eddie Yazbeck, mentioned the importance of what this grant will provide.

“We have worked closely with Bayside Council to develop a site plan for Kingsgrove Avenue Reserve and together we applied for the NSW Football Legacy Fund to help make our vision a reality,” he said via press release. 

“This grant will deliver a much-needed infrastructure upgrade, addressing concerns such as accessibility and safety, improved canteen facilities, storage for our kits, change rooms for players and referees.”

The Facilities and Grants Officer at Football NSW, James Spanoudakis, also added via media release. 

“Amenity buildings are the heart and soul of all football clubs across NSW,” he said.

The new amenities is expected to be completed towards the conclusion of 2024, ready to go for the 2025 winter season.   

Melbourne City proudly unveil their state-of-the-art-facilities

Melbourne City have proudly showcased their clubs latest project through the unveiling of their new state-of-the-art-facility, located at Casey Fields in Cranbourne.

The City Football Academy Melbourne continues to push the already established high-standards in which football across Australia are beginning to reach. The facility will host the men’s and women’s teams, as well as the club’s grassroot program, and an administration office is also involved in the newly developed location.

The Melbourne based club were inspired by their British parent and European juggernauts Manchester City have some of, if not the best facilities in world football. Melbourne City’s latest facility was developed in accordance to the structure and framework relating to Manchester City.

Within the newly furnished building, it’s features are acknowledged to stand out amongst other rival A-League entity’s. A 60-seat theatre and community classroom was installed to host club officials and guests, 16 changerooms combined with Hydrotherapy pools and two gyms, all designed to propel their playing personnel in achieving their peak athletic condition. Administration spaces where also created for Sports Science, Sports Medicine and club officials to all reside in.

The official opening took place on April 10 by City of Casey Chair of Administrators Noelene Duff PSM, and Melbourne City FC Vice Chairman Simon Pearce.

Located at the Casey Fields Sporting precinct in which is building quite the resume within the tenants it has acquired in various codes of sport across the state. The 5,900m2 facility that City now possess in their arsenal sits on eleven hectares of land, upon it they have five different football pitches, with varying surfaces.

The opportunities in which this facility presents to football fans and participants alike, are in abundance, 3,500 aspiring young football participants will be able to use the facilities on offer, with many more able to spectate City matches in which may be played at their Academy.

Melbourne City FC CEO Brad Rowse stated via press release:

“This amazing facility will be the new home to our Men’s, Women’s, Academy, and Administration teams, and will allow us to come together under the one roof to train, share ideas and challenge each other every single day.

“We’re setting new standards for football in Australia and laying the foundations for sustainable growth, on and off the pitch.”

With the latest edition of the McDonald’s City Cup being played at the newly launched facility, the tournament was a token showcasing that the clubs elite are not the only ones who will benefit from the facility but also local footballing communities in addition.

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