Top English soccer clubs meet to hash out revenue deal


England’s smaller Premier League teams met to come up with a plan to satisfy the six biggest  soccer clubs, including Manchester United and Chelsea, which are demanding a bigger share of the $1.34 billion a year in overseas broadcast rights.

One proposal involved splitting the revenue based on where teams finish in the standings, according to a person with knowledge of the matter who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private. Up to now, teams split the funds equally.

The meeting was requested by smaller clubs and takes place ahead of a possible vote on the issue at next week’s meeting of all teams. Changes to the league’s rules require at least 14 votes. Premier League Executive Chairman Richard Scudamore was among those attending.

Overseas rights are growing in importance, and bigger clubs, which include Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea, want a larger share of the money in accordance with their greater viewing figures and popularity, which they say drives revenue.

Revenue sharing is on the schedule at next week’s meeting of all 20 Premier League clubs. Overseas revenue currently amounts to about 3 billion pounds to 3.5 billion pounds over three years, with the league’s domestic deal being worth 5.1 billion pounds.

Next week’s agenda will also cover proposals for the next domestic rights contract, which is currently shared by BT Group Plc, Sky Plc and the British Broadcasting Corporation, which shows highlights.

For the first time the league’s live and non-live rights are expected to attract the attention of companies such as Inc. and Facebook Inc., raising the prospect of a richer deal. Against this there is evidence that viewing for live matches screened on television are declining, with some migration to tablets and phones.

Broadcast revenue for the English league is much larger than that of rival leagues. The Premier League had eight of the top 20 clubs in Europe in terms of total revenue, according to a recent survey by Deloitte.