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. AN TEARMANN on 3RD JUNE 2020 11:03 PM



    The jist of all that is that the memorial stone had to include an English translation of the Irish phrase used. It’s a bit of a stretch to regard that as an example of anti Irish racism.




    Celtic look set to secure a deal that will see goalkeeper Fraser Forster join the club on loan for the entire 2020/21 season.



    A source has exclusively told Read Celtic that he expects the Englishman to spend next season on loan with the Hoops and that Southampton are looking to resolve the goalkeeper’s future as soon as possible so they can put their own transfer plans in place.




    The specifics of the deal still need to be resolved, but our source says that Celtic will pay a loan fee to the Saints and that the Premier League side will also contribute a significant chunk of his £70,000-a-week wages.



    Although there is a loan move agreed in principle, one of the discussions that is still taking place is about the inclusion of an option that would allow Celtic to buy the goalkeeper next summer.

  3. !!BADA BING!! on 4TH JUNE 2020 10:33 AM


    Tim- we have 2 bids in for 17 year olds playing in England






    Who? Is one of them Parkes?

  4. I can’t help think of the Behan quip every time the CoE comes up in conversation. I’ve little time for them.



    Their attitude to Irish may be shaped by a lingering resentment from the ‘reformation’ as many historians point to the language barrier as being a major reason why very few Catholics in Ireland converted.



    For the CoE to take the DUP stance and infer the Irish language is a terrorist language is very insulting.



    But then I think of the Behan quote and I remember I don’t care about what the CoE has to say.

  5. The Club may release half season tickets in December which may suit some people with difficulties or reservations about paying this summer.

  6. Interesting to see a point resurfacing I’ve been making ever since the Overseas Season Ticket was launched which about the iniquitous sharing of the financial support load. Here is my post on Sentinel Celts.





    When I held an Overseas Season Ticket when the scheme (my idea btw) began I had a concessionary ST at around £350 from memory. On moving overseas I could have paid around half for Celtic TV but the OST deal was I get to watch ALL Celtic matches plus access to 4 home games when in the UK having given due notice (subsequently upped to 5 ) and in season 2 the price dropped to £250. . My unused seat was at disposal of The Foundation who gave it to local care providers to find an occupant. I got a thank you letter at end of season listing the 33 services who had made use of my seat (some of which I had visited as a PT IT capacity builder, which was a nice feeling.)



    So I/m paying £350/40 say £9 per game but an ST Holder is paying £550/20 £27.50 to watch half the number of games. My argument was that thee should be a more equitable sharing the load of supporting as without ST holders, viewers overseas would have no game to watch.



    The problem is the price to watch on TV can be lower because it reaches a bigger audience and SKY make a profit from advertising that keeps their subscription rate lower for TV viewers. Then there is piracy where no price is paid at all so less income for the industry. I stopped subscribing to SKY ages ago because of the damage caused to Scottish football and I’ll only go back to paying to watch when I know the game isn’t rigged, that way I’m not paying to be cheated. I would still be being cheated but I wouldn’t be subsidising it .



    The other hinderance is the ST model. The reason why it is a traditional means of collection is that it is impervious to form, so once the money is in the club have it and don’t risk fading support and so income if team is playing poorly.



    Nevertheless if a supporter contracted to pay £x a month to watch all games at the ground or from home then some certainty of income is provided, but for that to happen those paying less to watch from home would have to pay more whist those who attend games pay less.



    If that was the choice ie pay up to view or don’t view (and piracy is controlled ) then if it is at an affordable monthly rate would the take up provide less income, the same or more given it would allow Celtic to reach a global audience?



    Edit.. I used the cost of an OST to arrive at the £9 per game but had I used the price of an annual subscription at say 150 then the CTV subscriber is paying around £4 per game.



    For a more equitable sharing of the load there has to be a change in the mindset that it is right the price per game should be more equally shared.

  7. Tim Malone Will Tell on




    I agree with you that SKY don’t want Celtic to sell you games – but I think that some posters are assuming that Celtic are in the driving seat in this situation when that isn’t really true.



    SKY will see the possibility in future of having different markets – the current long term subscribers who will happily watch any EPL game, the discerning watcher who will “dip in” whenever they fancy a game – but also the possibility in the “new normal” of someone who might want to subscribe to one team via a SKY platform for games that are not broadcast on their existing channels.




    Although this coming season might just be an extraordinary “one off”, it establishes a market and revenue stream that football authorities and broadcasters might be reluctant to terminate as they both seek to protect their own interests.



    If this does persist, Celtic and other clubs might well be acting as selling agents – but it will be SKY who are providing and selling the platform. Just my opinion…

  8. Timaloy29



    That Athletic article you summarised (thanks) sounds like something any of us could have put together here. I think it’s cack personally……



    Rejig the recruitment team on a global scale and then buy the fella aroud the corner sounded very Strachanesque….



    I think we’ll see a push for Dembele and Frimpong type bargains in Englandshire…ore value there than an overpriced haddie like McKenna…

  9. Todays latest rumour



    Ajer, definitely heart set on leaving.



    Ajer out…. Mckenna in.




  10. When it comes to selling viewing rights within the UK and Ireland – Sky Sports hold all the cards. Their contract is exclusive and Celtic can only go as far as Sky allow.



    Celtic have an eye on season book sales and no doubt made the point to Sky that they would have to give something to protect season books. But that was it. Sky were never going to give more.



    The idea that Sky would let a Club sell such viewing packages direct to all its support without exception runs contrary to their business plan. It would also set a dangerous precedent for Sky.



    What we have got is as much as sky were ever going to give.



    There is a conversation to be had regarding the traditional season book package. Celtic seem loath to make any changes for supporters who live in Britain and Ireland that wish to support the club but can’t make every game.



    But the model won’t change in the next two months, it’s a talk for another day.

  11. Scott Mckenna isn’t even a quarter of the football player Ajer is.



    Also much slower.



    However, there is a case to be said, that he is a stronger defender than Ajer.


    And also importantly, McKenna is left sided. Therefore would offer more natural balance at left centre back.

  12. McKenna for Jozo would be fine.



    McKenna for Ajer is a downgrade and that should not be happening this summer.

  13. BIG WAVY on 4TH JUNE 2020 11:05 AM



    That Athletic article you summarised (thanks) sounds like something any of us could have put together here. I think it’s cack personally……



    Rejig the recruitment team on a global scale and then buy the fella aroud the corner sounded very Strachanesque….



    I think we’ll see a push for Dembele and Frimpong type bargains in Englandshire…ore value there than an overpriced haddie like McKenna…






    None of it is at all surprising agreed. Devlin is fairly well connected at the club and I would say its a fair summation of what’s going on.



    CQN posters are clued up and it doesn’t take a genius to figure out from the outside that NL does not fancy our LB’s. Johnny Hayes played 26 times and started some big games ahead of Taylor. Now he’s released. Boli is nowhere to be seen.



    The club has decided to cast a smaller net due to Covid 19 restrictions. Time will tell if that was prudent. I personally don’t rate McKenna and hope the club hold onto Ajer instead.



    Boyata had his heart set on leaving but had to suck it up and finish the season. Unless somebody turns up with Tierney money (seeming unlikely these days) for Ajer I think the club will force him to stay. So no McKenna.

  14. RUGGYGMAN on 4TH JUNE 2020 11:14 AM


    Scott Mckenna isn’t even a quarter of the football player Ajer is.



    Also much slower.



    However, there is a case to be said, that he is a stronger defender than Ajer.



    And also importantly, McKenna is left sided. Therefore would offer more natural balance at left centre back






    Having read the whole article, I should say it left me under the impression that Ajer will be here. Here’s the paragraph in question:



    “Ajer’s “heart is set on leaving”, according to one dressing room source, and he has allegedly made it clear to the club and his team-mates that he doesn’t intend to sign a new contract. Whether or not Celtic sanction a move is a different story. He has two years left on his current deal and it’s unlikely his profile would be diminished by another season playing in Scotland, especially if Celtic can make it back to the Champions League group stage. Meanwhile, his value next summer, though hamstrung by there just being one year left on his contract by then, might feasibly grow if the transfer market, along with the rest of the world’s economy, is recovering from the coronavirus crisis.”



    He wants to go. But Celtic won’t be in the mood to sell in a market where there will be something like a 30% reduction in his value due to Covid-19.

  15. My prediction:



    Forster comes back on loan


    Ajer, Edouard & Ntcham stay for the 10


    Celtic sign Hickey


    Celtic bring in 2 or 3 prospects from the English academy system


    We sign Elyounoussi or another LW to compete with MJ for the first team slot



    We roll into next year with that squad. Hopefully having offloaded the likes of Hendry.

  16. Timaloy29



    Your prediction seems pretty sound.



    I dont think we will see Elyounnoussi back with us next season.


    However it is important we do source a left forward that contributes with goals. Similar to Sinclair and Moi .



    Mikey Johnston, is a good young prospect in my opinion. He is more old school winger. We need a player that can link with Eddy, can drift in field, and can contribute 12-16 goals to our 10 iar season.



    I dont think Jordan Ibe is that guy either

  17. If we keep last year’s squad including Forster and Moi then we’ll be fine. Keep our Ntcham’s, Rogic’s and Ajer’s. I don’t think there’s a snowballs chance we sell Eddy this window.



    We may need left back cover but if we can keep El Hamed fit and Bitton is available we probably don’t need a replacement for Jozo.



    Elyounoussi in particular could be superb next season if we can keep him fit.

  18. I see someone commented that Lenny doesn’t rate our left backs.


    And that could be true.



    Ultimately, in successful modern day teams, the width comes from the full-backs.


    Liverpool being the obvious example.



    The number and quality of crosses put in by Robertson and Trent Arnold…. Combined, their assist stats are phenomenal.



    I know Lenny believes in this. Therefore ideally seeking a left-back with a good engine, but importantly good delivery.


    Taylor has a good engine… but end product a lot to be desired.

  19. Celtic have their work cut out to get this virtual access to games right. Many folks are not internet savvy, may not have satellite tv, laptop etc so lots to be considered. I hope they look to help those who have made a big financial commitment to renew but don’t necessarily have the IT savvy or hardware to access…….

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