Was Leicester's triumph down to equal TV income?
Premier League

Was Leicester’s triumph down to equal TV income?

  • All Premier League sides receive identical income from TV rights
  • This equality is not reflected in other major European leagues
  • Allows “smaller” clubs to compete with the top sides
  • New TV deal is worth £5.136bn over 3 years
This fairy tale could not happen in Spain or Germany

Congratulations to Leicester on a marvellous achievement. The preferred adjective at the moment to describe their Premier League success is “unbelievable”. That is a step too far. Leicester are fortunate to play in a league where the huge sums from the TV rights deal are equally distributed among the 20 teams. Was Leicester’s triumph down to equal TV income? Yes, primarily it was.

It’s a bizarre, yet wonderful arrangement. In a game consumed by money, where the governing body is currently in turmoil due to financial corruption, we have a communist style arrangement where Leicester receive the same sum of money as Manchester United. In Spain, Barcelona and Real Madrid receive the lion’s share, which ensures their long-term domination. The same template can be found in Germany, France and nearly every top league in Europe.

The new Premier League TV deal is worth more than 5 billion pounds over three years. It’s an insane amount of money, but provides smaller clubs with the opportunity to compete. Leicester’s star player this season, Mahrez, has apparently committed his future to the club. In return, he will get a whopping pay rise which will be funded by TV income. In other leagues, the smaller clubs would be immediately forced to sell. Leicester’s achievement is brilliant for the game, but it was primarily achieved through the communist style financial arrangement in place.

Leicester’s success was not down to TV income

While the vast majority of fans around the world have celebrated Leicester’s unbelievable triumph, some will try and pick holes in their extraordinary achievement. Let’s make one thing clear; Leicester did not “buy” the League, in fact, they had one of the lowest budgets in the top division. Star players such as Mahrez and Vardy were bought for a relative pittance.

While the TV income being distributed evenly benefits the game (not to mention that it’s the correct and fair approach), every other financial component is weighed in the favour of the elite. Man City spent around 150 million euro last summer and it wasn’t the first time. Man Utd just signed a 10 year deal with Adidas worth 750 million. These figures show that the clubs outside the traditional top 5 or 6, will always struggle.

Leicester’s success was down to a combination of factors. Purchasing the right players for the right price (Mahrez for 450,000 is the pick of the bunch), an incredible team bond nurtured by an excellent manager and a squad of players consistently performing at their optimum level. Another factor could be the periods of transition currently being experienced by some of the big clubs. However, the equal TV money was not the driving force behind this historic sporting achievement.

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