Background on the SPFL and Sky negotiations


I see reports that the SPFL are looking to compensate for the TV contract for this season not being fulfilled by reducing the next five-year deal by £300k per season.  It is worth putting some perspective on where the SPFL finds itself before assessing the merits of their approach.

The SPFL failed to perform to the existing contract, which specified a number of games to be broadcast at set times and dates, with backup dates available where re-arranged fixtures were necessary.  These dates were all to be complete by 31 May, games played after this date would be outside Sky’s agreed (and premium) slots, and, as the Premier League in England have found out, would still constitute a failure to perform the contract.

Sky sold sponsorship and advertising on the back of this contract, which they themselves were unable to perform.  Not only are subsequent payments in these contracts (SPFL with Sky and Sky with their advertisers) no longer due, an earlier payment that was made against a contract that was not performed can be subject to reclaim.

I am sure Sky’s legals were clear, end of season games deciding the title, relegation and European places, generate above average viewership and advertising revenue.  They also provide video for future promotion of their sports product.

If this went to court, Sky would need to demonstrate a loss before forcing a repayment of monies, but their core metrics would support at least some compensation.  These metrics are likely to have featured when Neil Doncaster first discussed the matter with Sky back in March.  Control was always with the broadcaster; finding a solution that did not bankrupt the league was the primary objective.

A £300k rebate for five years represents a 1% discount on the reported figure Sky will pay the SPFL.  In the circumstances, this would be astonishing.  The deal is yet to be concluded, but if and when it is, it will be informative to see how reporting angles split on the story.

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  1. Bada, They make money because a lot of Season Ticket Holders will renew on basis of virtual ticket.


    If there was nothing at all on offer, how could you expect anyone to renew, w

  2. Motherwell FC have said, regardless of whether live streaming is in place for home games, season ticket holders will be offered refunds for any home games which they cannot attend because of social distancing.



    Live streaming home games is a good thing for sure. I will wait for the full details of what Celtic FC are offering before making judgement but will say that i agree with Motherwell’s policy entirely.



    For the record the huns policy is abhorrent.

  3. Big Jock once said “I’ve never seen a fan score a goal.”



    If anyone has been paying close attention to the Bundesliga since it returned to football, behind closed doors, with the notable exception of Bayern home victories are at a bit of a premium.


    It will be interesting to see how teams perform without the vocal backing of their support. The two teams most likely to be affected are us and sevco, home and away.


    I just hope we can perform similarly to Bayern without the presence of fans.

  4. BIGBHOY on 3RD JUNE 2020 9:08 PM


    I think the Season Ticket holders will be given a code for any game that they cant attend. That way everyone who buys the season ticket can see the game. This is well worked out. SPFL have done well of getting a deal to spread the repayment to Sky as £300K a year for 5 years, I suspect a certain Celtic Director was in the SPFL corner.




    I think we also may have had one eye on limiting the amount that the Ibrox club can rifle their fans for. Sevco will have to match our deal.






    Nevco will do nothing of the sort. The will pan thems for everything and anything that they can extract. Funnily enough, since the Newco came into play WE have acted like one half of the ‘old firm’ by copying them where as they do what the hell they like regardless.

  5. David, First of all Motherwell have only about 4,000 Season Ticket Holders. Secondly the are not offering refunds. They are guaranteeing them 19 Home Games, whenever they are in a position to do so.


    In other words if a Motherwell Supporter renews & gets to see 9 games this season & if he doesn’t renew next season, he will still be entitled to attend 10 games free in the 21/22 Season.


    If he does renew next year he will get credit for games missed this season.

  6. !!Bada Bing!! on

    Corkcelt- I see your point, but the Club has been selling STs for about 6 weeks, not knowing what was going to happen next season, personally I think we will be back in stadiums around October, maybe missing 4 home games, or half season ticket holders one game ,around 26k,and the other half next game. HH

  7. Hopefully Bada.


    Anyhow I’ve posted more tonight than I have in last few months.


    Enough is enough, I’m off to bed,


    Goodnight & God Bless All.

  8. HAMILTONTIM on 2ND JUNE 2020 9:23 PM



    An interesting link.






    As some would suggest it’s not just the Scots who have a problem with the Irish, their culture and language.





    MONAGHAN1900 on 3RD JUNE 2020 5:21 PM


    From the BBC…today, in case you were wondering:



    “A woman has lost her quest to have an Irish epitaph engraved without translation on her mother’s tombstone in an English cemetery.



    Caroline Newey’s mother, Margaret Keane died two years ago and is buried in grounds owned by St Giles’ Church, Exhall, north of Coventry.



    Mrs Newey wanted her mother’s headstone inscription to read: “In ár gcroíthe go deo” (“In our hearts forever”).



    But a judge said untranslated, this may “be seen as a political statement”.



    “Given the passions and feelings connected with the use of Irish Gaelic, there is a sad risk that the phrase would be regarded as some form of slogan or that its inclusion without translation would, of itself, be seen as a political statement,” said Judge Stephen Eyre, QC, chancellor of the Diocese of Coventry.



    Untranslated Irish words would be “unintelligible to all but a small minority of readers”, he ruled in his judgment for the Church of England consistory court on 6 May.



    He authorised a memorial which included a translation of the phrase in English.”




    And from Church of England ìtself








    Hamilton Tim and Monaghan1900



    Thank you for the posts on this topic fellow Celts.😊




  9. ST holders would not be getting the home games for free, it would be for £644 in my case (x2). This compares to all games, home and away, if you are an overseas Celtic TV subscriber for around £180 I believe. That is hardly a good deal for ST holders. A retainer of say £50 or £100 per season ticket, plus the CTV subs, is much more reasonable – until such time as when fans can return to the stadium and actually sit in their own seats. At that point, a pro-rata balance payment can kick in. The club need to be more transparent and flexible in the current circumstances.



  10. “A retainer of say £50 or £100 per season ticket, plus the CTV subs, is much more reasonable – until such time as when fans can return to the stadium and actually sit in their own seats”



    – This passes the risk along to the club to manage the massive fallout of season ticket money. Players sold, staff sacked, etc etc. That’s why this issue is difficult. The club is trying to survive and be sensitive to the implications for individual supporters. Not an easy balance.





    Ah good to hear the bold DD is doing well.i text him a few weeks ago and got into a cheery discourse around 9 😊


    Will get a pint in for sure when this is over,


    Miss in ma fitba so ah um.


    Stay safe




  12. These are terrible times.





    Celtic is TRULY Global.



    To be honest. I despise Sky.




  13. CORKCELT on 3RD JUNE 2020 10:41 PM


    David, First of all Motherwell have only about 4,000 Season Ticket Holders. Secondly the are not offering refunds. They are guaranteeing them 19 Home Games, whenever they are in a position to do so.



    In other words if a Motherwell Supporter renews & gets to see 9 games this season & if he doesn’t renew next season, he will still be entitled to attend 10 games free in the 21/22 Season.



    If he does renew next year he will get credit for games missed this season.






    They can choose to deduct the money for missed games from the following seasons ST price so is in effect a refund.



    Like i say, lets see what Celtic put on the table.

  14. We are getting Curtley Ambrose to getting a Scottish Team tbat kicks seriously kicks ass.




    The young yins Coming through. OHMEGA.




  15. Our players have had a rest.



    Newco will come Hard.



    We need Evrryone to be a Broonie. Lenny Bhoy – make it happen.

  16. Good morning CQN from a grey and overcast Garngad



    I think playing behind closed doors could affect us more than we think.



    Having our fans in Paradise and at away grounds creates a huge amount of noise for players to thrive on. The good thing is we have far superior players than the rest.



    Someone came up with a good idea Adi Dassler I think, to play the fans singing through the sound system that would at least create a bit of noise for the players to tie into and as Adi says the Huns would follow suit and it would be interesting to see the songs they play.



    Hail Hail



    D. :)

  17. POG 3rd June 8.45……



    It’s all very well for most of the codgers on here who can afford it to think what has been put forward is hunky dory. I don’t pretend to know what the solution is but many younger families have ST’s together and after this crisis budgets will be tighter with many unemployed. So paying out for 2 or 3 ST’s for one “seat” in front of the telly doesn’t sound particularly fair to me.





    I would put most people on this blog, not all, in the income coming in from a pension bracket with not too many, if any, dependants. I would suspect most on this blog would be more concerned about COVID-19’s affect on their health rather than their pocket.





    Im very disappointed with your wording in your I am one of the “Codgers” that you wrote about.



    Firstly, you assume that most of the “Codgers” think this Virtual TV Deal is somehow “Hunky Dory” ?


    Despite being a “Codger”…I can advise you that I do NOT think this Virtual TV Deal is “Hunky Dory” ?



    Ive had Two Season Book seats at Celtic Park for years, until I was FORCED to give the last one up, due to me losing my job cos of a medical condition, and being married at the time and ONLY receiving Job Seekers Allowance ( approx £52 a week), so it would have been very unfair on my hard working wife, IF I expected to continue handing over money that I had coming into the house to Celtic for a season book.



    Without going into too much detail, my health is MUCH worse now and for that reason it would be very difficult for me to attend Celtic Park in person and probably somewhat unwise, given my condition.


    I am NOT in receipt of any Pension either, but I could afford to buy a Season Book…if I was healthy enough…and/or buy a Virtual Season Book if I was given the opportunity….but it appears that ( for now ?, NON Season Ticket holders are being left out of this Virtual TV Deal, which I believe is wrong, as for many Disabled Fans like myself who are more than happy to pay money to Celtic to watch those Virtual Games, and therefore contribute CASH to Celtic FC in the this way due to being unable to attend matches ( IF and When Fans are allowed in and NOT forgetting the waiting list to buy a season book at Celtic ?).



    I can NOT apologise for being a “Codger”…


    I can NOT apologise for being Disabled ( almost housebound)…


    I can NOT apologise for NOT having hungry Kids to feed…


    I can NOT apologise for being in the fortunate position having the Cash to give to Celtic IF they opened the door and wanted NON Season Book Holding ” Codgers” like me to contribute from the comfort of my home…



    I am not seeking any argument/dispute with you….but for a Celtic supporter in my position…it would be a Joy to watch ALL Celtic matches from my home..if thats the ONLY way I can watch the Celts ?


    I can NOT understand why Celtic appear to be denying themselves MORE Cash by leaving out NON Season Book Holders to this Virtual TV Deal…IF my understanding at this time is correct….maybe Celtic will look again into this issue and give Virtual TV access to ALL Celtic supporters ?



    I certainly hope so…as my pleasures in what life I have left ….are diminishing very quickly ?



  18. Motherwell has promised their fans who buy a book they will get 19 home games at some point. That could mean cup games included or games for the 21/22 season included.



    That would be the fairest way of doing it.

  19. celticforever on

    as a season ticket holder with a ticket amount due of 666 quid which


    I think would be excessive to just watch games on TV wouldnt it be fairer


    to freeze the season tickets till all fans can go again and make this


    virtual TV available to all fans for say 200 or 300 quid



    I am sure many more than our 60,000 capacity would be interested and


    Celtic will still recoup their money

  20. Big Jimmy,


    When I refer to codgers I am not referring to you. I’m referring to the likely average age of the contributors on here. I also include myself in the codger group being in the 65 age bracket, possibly older than you.


    I was pointing out that there are some on here with an “I’m alright Jack” attitude who couldn’t give a toss about the plight of other Celtic fans who will scarcely be able to feed/clothe their families never mind spend money on ST’s during this difficult time for many.


    I’m into having a social conscience as well as social distancing and I fully agree that non-ST holders should be able to access games. What I’m not into is the same household having to pay multiple times for the privilege to watch the same game.


    I’m sorry if you felt my post was directed to people like you – it wasn’t, but I’m not going to apologise for caring about other people’s financial circumstances and their (in)ability to pay several times for what is essentially a single item.


    PLC or not our Club was founded to help those who were in financial dire straits and should remain so despite the fact it deviated from this philosophy many times in the past.


    As David17 said let’s see what Celtic put on the table regarding financing virtual ST’s.

  21. CELTICFOREVER on 4TH JUNE 2020 8:56 AM



    I think that’s fairer. But it’s not what Sky want.



    Sky wants to keep all their non-season ticket holder customers.

  22. Tim Malone Will Tell on




    Not sure about that.


    As I posted yesterday, SKY actually own NOW TV which is a flexible pay per view outlet (daily, weekly or monthly without contract) and you can already access all SKY Sports channels by buying a NOW TV pass.



    I am sure that everyone in the sports broadcast industry had already woken up to the fact that there is potentially more revenue to be had by giving more people what they want when they want it rather than tying an ever dwindling number into long term contracts. The football clubs in smaller leagues will also see the potential to sell to a much wider global audience.



    I would think that SKY have an eye on the bigger picture here – they will see this crisis as the vehicle to radically change how sport content is accessed…but time will tell.

  23. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Good morning all.



    I don’t know who posted the Johnny Hayes picture but thank you.



    Made me chuckle (somewhat childishly)



    Mostly bemused faces but you got the obligatory



    – GIRUY salute


    – guy heading for the exit



    My personal favourite is the girl who earlier fell asleep on a sun bed – her face is more orange than her T-shirt




  24. The virtual Season Ticket is an ideal solution to the ongoing parking problems around Celtic Park though :)) por cierto

  25. Interested snippet from The Athletic’s Celtic correspondent Kieran Devlin about our transfer strategy for the 10. It’s behind a paywall but I will give some bullet-points



    – He’s been told Celtic’s transfer policy will be “risk-averse. Celtic have looked at a lot of players but have told agents they will only buy players who they “already know”



    – This means players that have been scouted in-person pre-COVID 19. Celtic will not be bringing in players based on recommendations, data analysis, or video scouting alone this year.



    – Forster is at the top of the club’s priorities. Elyounoussi signing permanently is a less likely prospect. Both players are being paid above the Celtic wage structure. So there are hurdles. Possible both players could return on loan.



    – Celtic are planning to trim the squad further to help pay for these deals. That was the rationale in letting Hayes and Jozo go.



    – Celtic are also offering bumper increases to Ntcham, Edouard and Ajer. Devlin has been told by a dressing room source that Ajer has set his heart on leaving. Celtic are minded to keep him as they don’t want to sell players in this summers depressed market.



    – If Ajer goes Scott McKenna is targeted as his replacement. Celtic know him well and think they could get him cheaper this summer. They do have other targets but he’s described as ‘probable’



    – Aaron Hickey is another target. He could be signed surprisingly cheaply. Boli is being written off and will be sold if a decent offer is received. Taylor also has his doubters as a starter but he is considered a steady backup.



    – Turnbull is still under consideration. Though he just signed a new deal at Motherwell it is understood that was to protect his transfer value. Celtic may be able to get him for a lower fee than agreed last summer. Obviously his medical will be crucial.



    – Celtic will continue to monitor the English Academy market. Celtic have actually earned a good reputation down south as a place to develop. Players and agents have noticed the success of players like Frimpong. West Ham’s Vernon Parkes is touted as a possibility.



    – Outside the UK the focus is on France & Eastern Europe. Celtic understand the value of having a good core of native French speakers. The likes of Boyata and Dembele helped the newer guys adapt to life in Scotland. Celtic are keen to keep this going with Edouard, Ntcham, Jullien, Soro & Bayo all currently in the squad.



    – In Eastern Europe the only known targets were fullbacks Robert Gumny & Michal Karbownik



    – The club considered a new strategy of targeting unhappy youngsters in LaLiga academies similar to their approach in England. COVID has probably put an end to that for this window but could be a future strategy.



    In summary:



    – Trim the squad in terms of numbers


    – Sign Forster and Elyounoussi again


    – Keep Ajer, Ntcham & Edouard


    – Sign a new LB






    No argument from me about any Virtual TV deal being made available to ALL Celtic supporters and NOT just Season Book holders, and maybe I am being slightly surprised for the moment IF Celtic are only prepared to allow Season Book holders access to the Virtual TV Deal….that makes no sense to me….for the moment……. although I understand if Celtic are only looking at Season Book holders in the first instance ?


    Also, OBVIOUSLY no argument from me in relation to any Celtic household that may have MORE than One Season Book holder, and who obviously do not intend to pay 2 or 3 times over for the ONE Product via the Virtual TV Deal…but who are very concerned about the thought of giving up any “extra/added” season book in that household, in fear of losing their Season Book for future seasons beyond season 2020/2021….that in effect would see Celtic as almost “Blackmailing” some supporters into paying for BOTH at this uncertain time…or any other time ?



    My main point was that “Codgers” like myself aged 64 who are seriously disabled physically, and who now find that the TV and/or Computer is the ONLY source that are available to watch The Celts, and who certainly dont wish to miss out just because it would be pointless for that person who is disabled…or who can NOT afford a “Normal” season book to even try and buy a “Normal” season book ( not forgetting the waiting list) due to their “circumstances” be it physical, financial or otherwise.


    Hopefully, I am NOT one of the “Im all right Jack mob” that you refer to, just someone who is now fortunate enough to be in a much better position “money wise ” than from a few years ago when I was less fortunate than Today ?


    Just for the record…IF I was offered a season book or match ticket for ANY game FREE of Charge…I would still need to take my health issues into consideration before agreeing to accepting that Book/Ticket…sadly.


    I sincerely hope that Celtic rethink matters and ensure that EVERY Celtic supporter has access to any Virtual TV deal and also ENSURE that any current season book holders do NOT feel that they are being “Blackmailed” into paying for their season book AND Virtual TV Book, for fear of losing their seat ?


    Maybe I havent quite grasped this Virtual TV deal correctly at this time ?





  27. TIM MALONE WILL TELL on 4TH JUNE 2020 9:23 AM



    Sky wants your money. You can buy a Now TV pass or Sky Sports package. As you pointed out, there is some flexibility there.



    They don’t want Celtic selling you TV games. This is a one-off deal that is restricted to our 19-20 numbers for book holders.

  28. I’m not sure about this, but it may not be in Celtic’s remit to offer these virtual tickets to non season book holders. There has been very little in the way of how this is going to be transmitted into homes via which platform, I also take it that all games will kick off at the same time during this period. Or will the the away games on Sky Sports still be shown when it suits Sky? There is so much still be known about this por cierto

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