Following yesterday’s frustrating news about broadcasters introducing a pay per view model, we took some time before responding to speak to the club about their position.
We are extremely disappointed at the decision by broadcasters to screen Premier League games as part of a Pay Per View model.
Over 22,000 Leeds United fans have already paid for a season ticket that they are unable to use, and more have subscribed to as many as three different broadcasters in order to watch matches. We are now being told that we will have to pay an additional £14.95 per game to watch those that haven’t been selected for the televised schedule. This is excessive.
Understandably there are costs attached to the set up of broadcasting extra games, but passing on this cost to fans in the current climate is wrong, considering many are already paying some form of subscription.
Disappointingly, Premier League clubs, with the exception of Leicester City, opted to vote for this solution without pushing for extra time to consult with their fan representatives.
We spoke to the club last night and understand that other options were asked for, most notably the ability for clubs to use their own TV channels and have control of the costing model (as per last season). The decision ultimately sat with the EPL and the Broadcasters leaving little choice but for clubs to agree, as they feel it is better to have an option for fans to be able to view all games rather than miss the ones not selected for schedule. We have raised our frustrations with the club last night and they have assured us they will pick these up with the Premier League and other groups next week to push for a better solution.
We hope that this model doesn’t stop the pressure that Clubs, Trusts and fan groups have been placing on the government to allow fans to safely return to stadiums. While large scale indoor events take place and Elland Road remains empty, we will continue to back the FSA campaign safe fan returns by lobbying the government and continuing to push the club on sharing their plans for a return.
At a time when fans are struggling financially, they are now being asked to pay out even more for what is essentially an inferior product when compared with live football.
We expect better. We expect other options to be explored immediately. We expect the Premier League and Broadcasters to be clear where the PPV money will go. We hope that any extra money raised by PPV fees will go to supporting lower league clubs who are under extreme financial pressure, rather than in the pockets of Broadcasters.
Broadcasters need to stop pricing fans out of football and clubs need to stand together with fans. Football without fans is nothing.