Liverpool's managing director Ian Ayre fired a broadside that threatens to shatter the financial structure of the English Premier League on Tuesday. According to the Guardian, Ayre wants to break from the model where live EPL games are collectively sold overseas and allow individual clubs to negotiate deals with broadcasters on a club-by-club basis.
"Personally I think the game-changer is going out and recognizing our brand globally," the Liverpool executive said. "Maybe the path will be individual TV rights like they do in Spain. There are so many things moving in that particular area.
"What is absolutely certain is that, with the greatest of respect to our colleagues in the Premier League, but if you're a Bolton fan in Bolton, then you subscribe to Sky because you want to watch Bolton. Everyone gets that. Likewise, if you're a Liverpool fan from Liverpool, you subscribe. But if you're in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) there isn't anyone subscribing to Astro, or ESPN to watch Bolton, or if they are it's a very small number. Whereas the large majority are subscribing because they want to watch Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea or Arsenal.
"At some point we definitely feel there has to be some rebalance on that, because what we are actually doing is disadvantaging ourselves against other big European clubs."
The latest overseas television deal sees EPL clubs share £1.4 billion ($2.2 billion) for 2010-13. It is expected that the next deal will see the value of overseas rights surpass that of the domestic contract for the first time.
The change would require the votes of 14 of the EPL's 20 members at the next EPL meeting. Five clubs — Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester City — would conceivably favor the new structure. Time will tell if nine of the remaining 15 clubs will see the benefit in such a move.
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