'Some clubs are desperate to attack other clubs' - Stoke City chief on Championship difficulties and Leeds United TV cash disparity

The Championship's current level of television income and some club's desire to see rivals punished through Profit and Sustainability rules make the division a 'more difficult environment' according to Stoke City's chief executive.
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Tony Scholes believes clubs like Leeds United are not fairly rewarded for the number of times their games are televised, compared with the riches paid to Premier League sides who appear fewer times.

He used the Championship leading Whites and Premier League basement boys Norwich City as examples.

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“The league doesn’t get the income to match its appeal,” he said in a report by the Stoke Sentinel, "to match the fact that it is the third highest attended league in Europe.

“I think the clubs are better now within the league. The clubs are in good shape and it’s the third highest attended league in Europe, which surprises most people. It’s higher than La Liga and Serie A.

“It feels like a Premier League Two and that’s no surprise because I think something like 19 out of the 24 clubs in our league have been in the Premier League at some point.

“So you’ve got Leeds at the top of the league and they’re on telly all the time, but they get TV income of about £3m-a-year.

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“The team one place above them, Norwich, on telly maybe 12 times this year, less than Leeds anyway, they get TV income of £100m-a-year and it just can’t be right."

The Stoke City chief executive has pointed out the disparity between the TV money for top Championship sides like Leeds United and Premier League strugglers like Norwich City (Pic: Getty)The Stoke City chief executive has pointed out the disparity between the TV money for top Championship sides like Leeds United and Premier League strugglers like Norwich City (Pic: Getty)
The Stoke City chief executive has pointed out the disparity between the TV money for top Championship sides like Leeds United and Premier League strugglers like Norwich City (Pic: Getty)

Scholes says that disparity, combined with the P&S rules brought in to stop clubs from overspending have made the Championship more of a dog-eat-dog environment.

“Then we’ve got a set of (FFP) rules that stifle ambition and keeps clubs from investing in the club," he said.

“The effect of that is - and this is the negative of the league at the moment - is that 12 years ago the league was very collegiate, everyone got on with each other.

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"Obviously there was great competition on the pitch, but off the pitch all the clubs got on.

“What I feel now in the league is that some clubs are desperate to attack other clubs and get them punished for breaking rules and get them a points deduction.

“It’s just become a more difficult environment and I think that’s because of the financial gap that exists with the Premier League.”