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Liverpool Threaten Premier League Break Away Over TV Money

Anfield club want bigger share of broadcasting rights.

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Liverpool could break away from the Premier League unless they are given a bigger share of the overseas broadcasting revenue.

The Reds insist they are not getting a fair deal from the £1.4billion pot, which over three years, is split between the 20 clubs. They received £17.9million last season.

The Anfield side argue they could negotiate a far more lucrative contract independently, which could mean other high-profile clubs, such as Manchester United, follow suit.

But this could lead to an even bigger wealth gap between the top teams and the smaller sides.

Liverpool believe the drastic measure is needed to keep the club competitive with the other top European teams, such as Real Madrid and Barcelona, who negotiate their own TV rights.

Real and Barca have deals with Mediapro contributing broadcast revenues of £136million each season.

Liverpool’s managing director, Ian Ayre, also warns the Premier League’s status as the most profitable and popular league is in danger unless its biggest clubs can keep pace with the Spanish giants.

“If Real Madrid, Barcelona or other big European clubs realise their international media value, where does that leave Liverpool and Man United? We’ll just share ours because we’ll all be nice to each other?,” Ayre said.

“The whole phenomenon of the Premier League could be threatened.

“If the Spanish clubs get bigger and bigger and they generate more and more, all the players will start drifting that way.

“Will the Premier League bubble be burst because we are sticking to this equal-sharing model? It’s a real debate that has to happen.”

The league’s international television rights deal expires at the end of the 2012-13 season and Ayre has questioned whether it should be renewed.

He wants the domestic TV deal from Sky to continue to be distributed equally but insists the situation is different overseas given the popularity Liverpool and United enjoy abroad.

“Maybe the path will be individual TV rights like they do in Spain,” he added. “There are so many things moving in that area.

“What is certain is that if you’re a Bolton fan in Bolton, then you subscribe to Sky because you want to watch Bolton, and everyone gets that. Likewise, if you’re a Liverpool fan from Liverpool, you subscribe.

“But if you’re in Kuala Lumpur there isn’t anyone subscribing to watch Bolton, or if they are it’s a very small number.

“The large majority are subscribing because they want to watch Liverpool, Man United, Chelsea or Arsenal.

“So is it right that the international rights are shared equally between all the clubs?”

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