Date: 24th February 2015 at 6:47am
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Southend are set to benefit from the new television deal extension that has been struck with Sky Sports, and also ‘solidarity’ payments from the Premier League into our coffers.

At a meeting between Football League clubs late last week at the FA’s Centre of Excellence, St George’s Park, those in attendance had confirmation that the Football League had extended it’s broadcasting agreement with Sky Sports, and that agreement had also been struck with the Premier League for additional ‘Solidarity’ payments down the football pyramid.

Both parties have agreed a one year extension to the current deal that is in place that now covers the 2018/19 season as well, and the Football League have the option of extending that across the 2019/20 season.

Across the initial four years of the television deal with the broadcaster it will see 148 games screened from the Football League, the Capital One Cup and the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy each season and also includes highlight provisions, mobile services and internet coverage.

Football League Chief Executive, Shaun Harvey explained.

‘Sky Sports have demonstrated, once again, their outstanding commitment to The Football League and its clubs. In extending this agreement we’ve delivered greater financial certainty to clubs for at least the next four seasons which I’m sure will be welcomed in boardrooms and supporters across the country.’

The second piece of good news for the beancounters was the announcement that a deal had been concluded with the Premier League for a new ‘rolling’ Solidarity agreement that will see a percentage of the Premier League television rights redistrubuted amongst Football League clubs from the 2016/17 season and it will be the first contracted agreement covering the broadcasting revenues in the top flight since the inception of the Premier League back in 1992.

As per the teams of the agreement, it will see parachute payments to newly relegated Premier League teams reduce from the current four season promise, to three seasons only but Championship clubs not in receipt of a parachute payment in any given season, will now benefit from the Solidarity payment which will equate to 30% of a third year’s parachute payment.

League One clubs will receive a solidarity payment of 4.5% of a third year payment, and League Two clubs will receive 3% of a third year payment.

Harvey continued.

‘The eventual level of parachute and solidarity payments made to Football League clubs from 2016/17 will only be known once the Premier League has concluded the sale of its overseas rights. Nevertheless, given the scale of its domestic agreement, it seems reasonable to expect that the eventual amounts paid to Football League clubs will be substantially greater than those we’ve seen previously and could amount to more than £100million per season.’

Whether the fans see a return on this in terms of lower ticket prices, of course remains to be seen, but it has to be hoped that the television inflation seen in the Premier League when it comes to ridiculous wages and benefits isn’t replicated and the funds gained benefit the security of the club and then the fans directly.

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