SPFL chairman calls for “much fairer” BBC deal
The chairman of the SPFL says the Scottish game is being “badly short-changed” by the BBC and has called for a far more equitable split of licence fee spending on the game north of the border.
Ralph Topping was responding to reported comments made yesterday by the BBC’s director of Sport Barbara Slater, who admitted there was “inequality” in the amount of money the Scottish game receives from the public broadcaster compared to the English Premier League.
He said: “The days of the BBC selling Scottish football short are drawing to a close. There is an overwhelming argument that the public money spent by the BBC on the UK’s national game should be more evenly split.
“There is no doubt that the English Premier League is one of the most powerful leagues in the world, and the BBC is paying £68million per annum over the next three years for its slice of that particular cake, but Scottish football will no longer be satisfied with the crumbs off the table.
“Compared to England, Scots contribute a tenth of the licence fee, yet at less than £1million for TV highlights, our BBC deal is only 1/60th of what the BBC pays to the English Premier League – and that doesn’t include the money they also pay to the English Football League for highlights. The BBC is damaging the game in Scotland and these double standards are indefensible for a publicly-funded broadcaster.
“It’s a sad reflection of the BBC’s approach to its investment in Scottish football that Gary Lineker’s salary is DOUBLE the amount the BBC pays for TV highlights of over 250 SPFL games each year.
“In the current deal, the BBC has almost halved the amount they previously spent on Scottish football. There comes a point where you have to say ‘enough is enough’ and we’ve reached it.
“Fans, clubs, politicians and the Scottish public recognise that, as our national broadcaster, the BBC has a duty to do the right thing.
“The facts could not be clearer – for far too long the BBC has been discriminating against Scottish football and it’s time for the corporation to increase its contribution to the sport in Scotland to properly reflect what our country contributes to the licence fee.
“There is one more season left on our current deal with the BBC and we’re determined that any new deal far better reflects the importance of the game in Scotland and the hundreds of millions the corporation receives from Scottish licence fee payers every year.”