Portsmouth give thumbs up for controversial new EFL TV deal with Sky Sports

Portsmouth have spoken out in support of the EFL's new broadcast deal with Sky as the governing body waits to see if it will face a legal challenge from unhappy Championship clubs.

Tuesday, 20th November 2018, 3:26 pm
Updated Tuesday, 20th November 2018, 4:18 pm
Leeds United's owner Andrea Radrizzani. Picture: Mike Egerton/PA

Mark Catlin, the CEO of the current League One leaders, told the Portsmouth News that the EFL had secured a “good deal” which received the backing of a majority of the League’s 72 clubs prior to the contract being formally signed yesterday.

The EFL’s board agreed to accept Sky’s £595m, five-year offer despite fierce opposition from several Championship sides, among them Leeds United, who felt the agreement was undercutting their potential earning power from TV rights.

Representatives of all 24 sides in the Championship attended a meeting in Birmingham this morning to discuss possible responses to the EFL’s decision to sign the deal. One of the options understood to be on the table was legal action to halt the agreement.

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The EFL, however, has resisted pressure to renegotiate Sky’s offer, which starts next year and represents a 35 per cent increase on the broadcaster’s existing commitment.

Catlin told the Portsmouth News: “As a group of 72 football clubs we are a collective. I have always abided by any decision the majority of the clubs take.

“There were a majority of clubs which thought this was a good deal for the EFL generally. It’s a 35-per-cent increase and now gives clubs security for the next five years in how they budget their income revenues.”

Leeds are yet to make any public comment on the dispute over Sky’s new contract, despite majority shareholder Andrea Radrizzani leading the calls for the EFL to reconsider it.

United managing director Angus Kinnear was present at today’s summit in Birmingham.