Connect with us


Phuket Gazette Sports: Tough times for EPL’s poor relations

Legacy Phuket Gazette



Phuket Gazette Sports: Tough times for EPL’s poor relations | The Thaiger
  • follow us in feedly
Premier League’s poor relation seeking new backers
Reuters / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: While the Premier League generates recession-busting revenue increases, times are tougher for the 72 football clubs outside the elite as they battle for media exposure and commercial deals.

Those clubs comprise the three-tier Football League, which features such illustrious names as former champions Nottingham Forest and Leeds United in its top division.

Condemned to the role of poor relation since the Premier League (EPL) teams broke away two decades ago, the Football League is polishing up its own marketing act, emphasising its ability to reach millions of supporters across the country.

It is negotiating with new sponsors and plans an early start on television contract renewal talks to tap in to the growing sporting rivalry between BSkyB and BT.

“We have a very interesting year ahead. We have our title partnership and the renegotiation of our television contract,” the Football League’s Chief Commercial Officer Richard Heaselgrave said.

The sponsorship is the most pressing item on the agenda for Heaselgrave, who has been in the job for a year after working for American basketball’s NBA and European soccer’s ruling body, UEFA.

Energy company npower, part of Germany’s RWE, is in the final few months of its three-year Football League sponsorship, but change looks inevitable after the exclusivity period for renewal ended without agreement.

“We’re negotiating with them, (but) we’re also negotiating hard with new partners,” Heaselgrave said in an interview.

“There is a number of companies who would like to buy in to this enormous fan base.”

For its part, npower said that talks were continuing.

TV cash
Premier League and Football League executives work from the same building in London’s West End shopping district.

The neighbours, however, are separated by a growing chasm when it comes to television revenue – the main driver of the Premier League’s commercial success.

Premier League clubs will share an annual bounty of more than 1 billion pounds ($1.6 billion; 50 billion Thai baht) thanks to a new domestic TV deal with pay television company BSkyB and telecoms heavyweight BT, which begins in August.

By contrast, the Football League’s TV deal with BSkyB is worth only 65 million pounds a season under a three-year deal that began in 2012.

Though less than a year into the current agreement, Heaselgrave wants to make an early start on negotiating the next TV deal, saying that the entry of BT into the sports rights market has changed the landscape.

“We’ll start conversations this year. There is a buoyant market there,” Heaselgrave said.

The riches on offer through winning promotion to the Premier League have encouraged wealthy overseas investors to buy clubs pushing for promotion from the Championship, as the second tier is now known.

Championship leaders Cardiff City are owned by Malaysians, while second-placed Leicester City have Thai backers. Leeds United were bought last month by a Dubai-based financial company, while Kuwaitis own former European champions Nottingham Forest.

Heaselgrave says that foreign investment allows the Football League to tap in to overseas markets that already pay a premium for top-flight English football.

The increase in foreign ownership has enabled the Football League to identify several new potential audiences, with overseas fans keen to watch their adopted teams.

“That’s an opportunity,” Heaselgrave said. “It’s a menu of games we suddenly have. You have to be able to sell TV on a more bespoke market-by-market basis, and that is what we are doing now.” ($1 = 0.6304 British pounds)

— Phuket Gazette Editors

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.

Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Phuket. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Strong wind and waves this morning closes Phuket’s beaches, one swimmer rescued

The Thaiger



Strong wind and waves this morning closes Phuket’s beaches, one swimmer rescued | The Thaiger

Phuket’s Rawai Mayor, Aroon Solos, ordered all beaches in the area to close after a foreigner was rescued this morning after being unable to make it back to shore. The foreigner was swimming off Ao Sane beach, just north of the popular Nai Harn Beach, when lifeguards were sent out to help bring him back to shore. The recent weather has been partly attributed to Tropical Storm Noul as other beaches areas around Patong have been closed since Friday. Mayor Aroon ordered both the Nai Harn and Ya Nui beaches closed until further notice. Noul crossed over the Vietnamese coastline […]

Continue Reading


Phuket residents going hungry after local government assistance runs out

The Thaiger & The Nation



Phuket residents going hungry after local government assistance runs out | The Thaiger

Residents in Phuket, particularly those living in and around the west coast townships, are reportedly going hungry as the government’s municipal budget to provide food has been depleted. Despite efforts to revive tourism in the area, thousands of people are still in need of donated food to survive and continue to queue up for donated food every day. A public relations staff member at the Patong municipality says, sadly, there is no budget to do any more food handouts in the near future and that there is no word on when or if there will be any more handouts. The […]

Continue Reading


Heavy rain across the country this weekend – local forecasts

The Thaiger



Heavy rain across the country this weekend – local forecasts | The Thaiger

Heavy rain is expected across much of Thailand over the next few days, mostly as a result of the intensity of a tropical storm crossing into Vietnam today, ‘Noul’, from the South China Sea. The low pressure cell will help intensify the effects of the south west monsoon too. But the remnants of the storm won’t “slam” into Northern Thailand as one news site claimed – rather it will be a lot of rain and increased winds. The storm is expected to cross into Thailand around the Mukdahan province some time early tomorrow, Around the country, Saturday will be the […]

Continue Reading
Follow The Thaiger by email: