Ayre: Liverpool want more TV cash

Liverpool will lead a challenge to thrash the current deal that splits television rights revenue amongst Barclay Premier League club's equally.

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The Merseyside club's managing director, Ian Ayre, believes that the established broadcasting deal, worth £3.2 billion for 2010‑13, is simply not fair for his club, and is looking for a shift to the La Liga model, where Barcelona and Real Madrid negotiate individual contracts, according to reports in the Guardian.

Ayre believes England's "Big Four" - Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal - deserve an increased share from 2013.

"Personally I think the game-changer is going out and recognising our brand globally," said the Liverpool managing director.

"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 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.

"So is it right that the international rights are shared equally between all the clubs? Some people will say: 'Well you've got to all be in it to make it happen.' But isn't it really about where the revenue is coming from, which is the broadcaster, and isn't it really about who people want to watch on that channel?

"We know it is us. And others. 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", Ayre insisted.

He belives that England's big clubs are disadvantaged when it comes to revenue because of La Liga's distribution of broadcasting rights proceeds.

"If Real Madrid or Barcelona or other big European clubs have the opportunity to truly realise their international media value potential, where does that leave Liverpool and Manchester United" ,he sighed.

"We'll just share ours because we'll all be nice to each other? The whole phenomenon of the Premier League could be threatened.

"If they just get bigger and bigger and they generate more and more, then all the players will start drifting that way and will the Premier League bubble burst because we are sticking to this equal-sharing model? It's a real debate that has to happen."

The Liverpool managing director also gave an insights towards the challenges the club have in moving to a new stadium, and the economics of it all.

"We have been in discussions here and in other parts of the world with a small group of people that we have narrowed down that we are targeting for naming rights", he revealed.

"That is an absolute catalyst to building a new stadium. The economics just don't stack up without it.

"When will the decision be made? It'll only be when we reach an answer with both. It's hard to put a time on it. If you put a deadline on the naming rights, then you start to marginalise the deal. We aren't desperate. We think we have an amazing proposition as one of the biggest clubs in the world.

"I don't recall any football club of this size with this international reach that's ever done a naming rights deal. It is quite unique in that sense. Barcelona, Real Madrid and Manchester United haven't. Nobody in football has done this at this level. It's new ground and it will take what it takes", Ayre concluded.



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