Premier League clubs are expected to decide today whether or not to stick to their controversial pay-per-view arrangements for the round of games leading up to the November international break.
Fifteen matches played after this month’s internationals were not selected for regular TV broadcast and had to be purchased a la carte through Sky Sports or BT Sport ticketing services at £ 14.95 each.
Fan groups including the Football Supporters’ Association have urged the league and broadcaster to reconsider the prices.
Many supporters have chosen to donate money to food banks and other charitable causes instead of paying the fees, which has raised around £ 300,000.
Even Sky Sports specialist Gary Neville has criticized the system currently used by his employers.
Speaking on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football, Neville said, “It’s over, nobody pays for it, nobody watches it, it’s done.
Meanwhile, Newcastle owner Mike Ashley has urged the Premier League to urgently review their ‘unacceptable’ pay-per-view arrangements and called on fans to pay £ 4.95 for matches until at Christmas.
He said in a statement from Newcastle. “In today’s climate, charging £ 14.95 for a single televised match is not acceptable to any football fan.
“The supporters overwhelmingly rejected this offer and the Premier League must now act.
“Why not make it a lot more accessible at £ 4.95 a game until Christmas?”
Premier League chief executive Richard Masters said earlier this month the price was ‘defensible’, while BT Sport said it was simply covering its costs of showing those games.
But top clubs will be under pressure to revise prices, with a decision to be made today on the broadcast arrangements to be put in place for matches played between November 6 and 8.
Premier League clubs had hoped to welcome some supporters back to stadiums from October 1, but the government has imposed an indefinite delay on those plans due to the increase in coronavirus cases across the country.
The league warned that English football would lose £ 100million for every month fans remain excluded from the pitch, with the EFL saying on Sunday that the government’s position was ‘frustrating and confusing’, with indoor venues such as shopping centers and cinemas open to the public.