Report: EPL Clubs Will Have to Repay Part of TV Money If Season Not Finished

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist IIMarch 19, 2020

The logo is pictured through a glass window at the headquarters of the English Premier League in London on March 13, 2020. - The English Premier League suspended all fixtures until April 4 on Friday after Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta and Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi tested positive for coronavirus. (Photo by Isabel Infantes / AFP) (Photo by ISABEL INFANTES/AFP via Getty Images)

Premier League clubs will reportedly have to repay broadcast revenue if the 2019-20 season is not completed as scheduled because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Executives from all 20 Premier League clubs have been informed that £762 million in TV money will be lost if the season does not finish, according to The Athletic.

The clubs were made aware of the situation during an emergency meeting on Thursday, and some are "determined to get games played behind closed doors" to avoid having to pay back sums, per the report.

The Premier League have announced it is committed to completing the season but has extended the current suspension until April 30.

A rule stipulating the season must finish by June 1 has also been scrapped in order to help complete the remaining fixtures, as noted by Sam Wallace at The Telegraph:

Sam Wallace @SamWallaceTel

Premier League announces that, along with FA & EFL, it has scrapped rule that season must end by June 1 & extended "indefinitely". Message is clear: season 2019-2020 will be completed. No games until April 30 at earliest

The 20 clubs are said to be "ready to fight any attempts" from broadcasters to fine them should the season not be finished, leaving them in breach of their broadcast agreement, per Sami Mokbel for the Daily Mail.

John Cross at the Mirror has reported the television contract was the main reason for clubs agreeing to complete the season because they "simply cannot afford to default on the deal."

Failure to see out the campaign could put the future of some clubs in jeopardy and leave them "unable to pay the players, pay staff or pay the bills," per the report.

Some clubs have already announced plans to pay matchday staff for the rest of 2019-20 even if the remaining fixture are not completed.

Manchester United have pledged £1 million to cover staff costs:

Laurie Whitwell @lauriewhitwell

Another really nice move from #MUFC: club will pay all its casual workers should Premier League games be cancelled or played behind closed doors for the remainder of this season. Ed Woodward: “We understand that these are unprecedented circumstances + want to give security.”

Premier League leaders Liverpool have announced they will continue to pay casual workers during the current suspension, per Paul Gorst at the Liverpool Echo.

Brighton & Hove Albion are another club committed to paying staff for the rest of the season:

Andy Naylor @AndyNaylorBHAFC

Nice gestures by Brighton. #BHAFC An emergency Board meeting, called to discuss the CVID-19 crisis, has approved paying matchday staff for the rest of the season, irrespective of what happens with the remaining games.

Yet not all Premier League clubs are in such a strong financial position, according to Simon Hughes at The Athletic:

Simon Hughes @Simon_Hughes__

Note: realise this will be viewed as a sign of greed. In some cases, yes. Not all. There’s a perception Premier League is awash with money but few clubs have cash in the bank. Figures reliant on participation. More of a fragile world than many think. Just on a different scale.

All Premier League clubs have nine games left to play in 2019-20, except for Manchester City, Sheffield United, Arsenal and Aston Villa, who have 10.