Richard Scudamore to Accept £5M Premier League Payment Amid Criticism From Fans

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistNovember 15, 2018

Richard Scudamore, executive chairman of the English Premier League, speaks at a football social development conference in Hong Kong on July 20, 2017.
Scudamore is in town as four teams from the EPL take care in the Premier League Asia Trophy pre-season event from July 19 to 22. / AFP PHOTO / ISAAC LAWRENCE        (Photo credit should read ISAAC LAWRENCE/AFP/Getty Images)
AFP Contributor/Getty Images

Premier League clubs will pitch in £250,000 apiece to ensure outgoing chairman Richard Scudamore receives a payment of £5 million for his many years of service, despite a backlash from fans and supporters' groups.

The payoff will be distributed over three years after all 20 teams were asked to stump up the funds by Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck, per BBC Sport. Scudamore will leave his post in December to be replaced by Susanna Dinnage.

Paying Scudamore for his work has angered many, including The Football Supporters' Federation:

"Premier League clubs have always told fan groups that budgets are planned in advance and there's not a surplus of cash lying around from their extremely lucrative TV deal. In the meantime, loyal football supporters continue to be inconvenienced by fixture changes to fit TV schedules, often losing out on travel costs or struggling to get to and from games in the first place.

"Now it appears clubs can stick their hands down the back of the sofa and find £250,000 at a moment's notice."

Clubs have backed the decision to reward Scudamore for his tenure.
Clubs have backed the decision to reward Scudamore for his tenure.Bebeto Matthews/Associated Press

However, Tottenham Hotspur chairman Daniel Levy has supported the idea of compensating Scudamore for the work he's done. Levy hailed the long-serving decision-maker as someone with "unique knowledge and experience."

He also called the recompense "absolutely a fair payment." Levy's sentiments were supported by West Ham United co-chairman David Gold.

Not many from the community of football fans will share the views of Levy and Gold.

The FSF has called for the money to be put to better use to support those who attend matches:

The FSF @The_FSF

How about a £250,000 donation per club to fund a reduction in young adult prices or subsidise away fan travel when games are moved for TV 🤔 https://t.co/0jIvnvzmN6

Liverpool supporters' group Spirit of Shankly dubbed the payment "shameful" and bemoaned the lack of power residing with the average fans who are at the mercy of how the league utilises its immense wealth.

Spirit of Shankly @spiritofshankly

The pay-off to Richard Scudamore is shameful. The good work done by @LFC in the community and with supporters is overshadowed by such greed and misjudgement. SOS statement here 👇 https://t.co/4AS1XoQRYt https://t.co/0LfOuFJyWn

Some believe the new additions to this season's Premier League have been stuck with a bill they shouldn't be asked to pay:

Emlyn Begley @EmlynBegley

Asking Fulham, Cardiff and Wolves to pay Richard Scudamore £250,000 each is like when Ross moved into his building in Friends and was immediately asked to chip in $100 for the retiring handyman

Meanwhile, David Conn of the Guardian lamented Scudamore being rewarded even after neglecting key areas of the game:

David Conn @david_conn

Grassroots facilities never did get the promised 5% of income out of Richard Scudamore, but Richard Scudamore has got £5m out of the Premier League... https://t.co/UA8bDt1AK6

Conn believes the league-wide approval for rewarding Scudamore reflects the importance placed on profit above other core values rife in the running of England's top flight.

Scudamore oversaw the league's expansion in the last two decades, particularly the influx of hefty sums of money in television deals. Yet many will think these things all simply fell under his remit to begin with.

The idea of paying what amounts to a bonus, and such a significant one at that, will likely only further the divide between core fans and the league. Many will continue to believe the increasing financial power within the game is seeing them become more and more marginalised and ultimately irrelevant.