Premier League 'considering paying police £10m sweetener' to get their way over TV slots

Premier League

The Premier League are considering paying police in order to secure prime time TV slots for the biggest matches

Jack Otway

By Jack Otway

Published: 18/10/2023

- 14:11

Updated: 18/10/2023

- 14:24

Some matches have been moved in the past over crowd concerns

The Premier League is reportedly considering paying the police a 'sweetener' of £10million in order to ensure 'risk' matches can be played in late television slots.

Certain matches have been moved over the years so authorities can oversee them sufficiently.

According to the Daily Mail, however, that could all be about to change.

It's claimed top-flight chiefs have been moved to act 'amid a growing reluctance from forces to cover games beteen rivals'.

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This is because police fear trouble from supporters, with games held later in the day troublesome due to fans drinking all day.

Sources insist no form of payment could guarantee kick-off times, while a range of options are also being mulled over 'to support police in keeping match-goers and communities safe'.

However, another insider has described the £10m sum as 'nothing but a sweetener'.

They also claim it is 'yet another example of the Premier League and its clubs trying to buy their way out of trouble'.

The publication says it is currently unclear how the money would be distributed.

It is also unknown whether the proposed payment would be regular or merely a one-off.

They say one potential option would be making a central payment, with the money then distributed to the police forces impacted by the matches in question.

Those with knowledge of the situation say deals with broadcasters in the UK and US are 'central to the competition's thinking'.

Sky Sports originally wanted to show Manchester City's clash with Liverpool at 5.30pm on Saturday, November 35.

But it was brought forward after the police raised concerns over crowd behaviour.

A match between Chelsea and Manchester United was permitted to go ahead at 5.30pm on a Saturday last season.

But that fixture only got the green light after the Red Devils' ticket allocation was halved from 3,000 to 1,500.

Bringing games forward also impacts the broadcasters' chances of bringing in a global audience.

Another source is quoted as saying: "Broadcasters pay incredible sums on the understanding that it's 'any game, any time' outside of the 3pm blackout.

"But that is clearly not the case.

"Any kick-off time has to be given the green light by safety officials first and that is never a given.

"Should this payment be made it would appear to be nothing but a sweetener - yet another example of the Premier League and its clubs trying to buy their way out of trouble.

"The police force is not a private service and you would have to look at whether such a move would have a knock-on effect on policing communities.

"This is about money."

There is said to be 'considerable annoyance' from the police over the fact they have to 'foot the bill for services provided outside the footprint of the stadium'.



Police have long had concerns over crowd trouble at football matches


This includes issues such as patrolling outside grounds.

Talks are supposedly still ongoing amid an increase in disorder at football matches in England and Wales.

The Home Office last month released data showing disorder had risen 60 per cent.

Arrests have gone up 59 per cent, while pitch invasions have risen by 127 per cent from four years ago.

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