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Premier League Terminates Massive Overseas Deal
Thursday, 3rd Sep 2020 13:58

Saints have had issues with Chinese based companies over the past few months, but that is dwarfed by the deal just terminated by the Premier League, a situation that is likely to have a big knock on affect to it's member clubs.

Those Premier League clubs who spend big on transfer fees and wages are going to be rocked by the fact that the League has just announced it has terminated a deal worth around £523 million over the next three years.

Chinese streaming service, PPTV finalised a £523milliondeal for the rights to stream all 380 Premier League games per season in China, for the three years between 2019-22.

Their first payment, of £160million was due in March, but six months later, that money has still not been paid.

The Premier League confirmed on Thursday, in a short statement posted on social media:

“The Premier League confirms that it has today terminated its agreements for Premier League coverage in China with its licensee in that territory.

“The Premier League will not be commenting further on the matter at this stage.”

PPTV are owned by the the Chinese retail giant Suning, who also own CSL side Jiangsu Suning, a team that Saints met in a pre season friendly on their Chinese tour two years ago, apparently their players have recently gone without payment also Italian club Inter Milan a share in PPTV.

Suning's turnover accoring to the report in the Daily Mirror, in their last financial year was over £28billion - making the apparent failed payment appear to be about more than merely money.

The deal was struck back in 2016, back then a number of Chinese companies were diversifying their various portfolios by purchasing English football clubs.

This was at a time when Chinese President Xi Jinping led a drive for businesses to invest more in football in a bid to turn the country into a footballing superpower, Saints were one of those club's who seemingly benefited when Jisheng Gao bought a majority shareholding back in 2017.

President Xi had set a target for the nation to be the world's biggest sports economy by 2025 and PPTV’s £523million deal was 12 times more than previous rights holders Super Sports Media were paying.

But then China fell out with the West, firstly with the USA and then later the UK and that escalated when the situation in Hong Kong deteriorated and the Chinese ambassador to the UK sent a chilling message in an interview warning the UK of interfering in the country's internal affairs and warning of consequences.

This seems to be now coming into play with Chinese companies no longer investing in sport and this seems to be the biggest case so far, indeed Saints recently having to terminate their deal with LD Sports due to non payment looks like it was part of the Chinese Governments change of direction towards the West and there will now be questions about our own owner Gao and his ability to fund the club.

The Mirror claims that the Chinese company had been looking to renegotiate the deal, at a time when Premier League clubs have already lost in excess of £500million due to coronavirus.

Now the Premier League and its clubs are left facing a further black hole in their finances, after electing to terminate the deal.

In truth the loss of around £175 million a year shared between 20 club's is a blow, but at £8.75 million per club is going to mean a cutting of costs and not hopefully any lasting damage.

But presumably given the situation between East & West it is not going to be easy to find another streaming partner in China if the Government there is discouraging further investment in the West.

Photo: Action Images

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Waylander added 14:54 - Sep 3
"there will now be questions about our own owner Gao and his ability to fund the club."
I thought we had already established that Gao has no ability to fund the club. This aspect does not change for us.

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