Premier League scrap controversial pay-per-view matches after backlash

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The Premier League have decided to scrap the controversial decision to place games on pay-per-view televison.

England’s top-tier has come under intense criticism since it was announced certain games, via Sky Box Office and BT Sport, would cost £14.95 per match.

It has caused a considerable backlash from supporters, who are already facing up to the fact that they can’t attend games in person during the coronavirus crisis.

Many fanbases have opted to donate money to worth causes like food banks, instead of paying for games on top of their, sometimes expensive, subscriptions.

The 20 top-flight clubs held a shareholders’ meeting on Thursday to discuss potential solutions to the idea that has been an unmitigated PR disaster.

And they have decided to scrap the fees until the end of 2020 – and likely for good.

PPV matches for this weekend will still apply, as some subscriptions have already been sold, but they will be abandoned from then onwards.

Reports ahead of the meeting suggested that clubs would be willing to drop the price down to £9.95, in line with the EFL’s iFollow channel.

With the country now entering a new four-week lockdown, teams had come under even more pressure to reassess the situation.

Newcastle owner Mike Ashley made his stance known last month, claiming the pricing structure was “not acceptable”.

"I am calling on the Premier League to immediately act and review its current pay-per-view arrangements for live matches in the UK," he said in a statement on the Newcastle website.

"Charging £14.95 for single televised matches in the current climate is not acceptable to any football fan.

"Supporters have overwhelmingly rejected this offer and the Premier League must now act.

"Why not make it much more accessible at £4.95 per match until Christmas?”

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He added: "The Government should waive VAT on the above pay-per-view matches so that as many of those who are unable to attend matches in person can at least watch their team.

"The profit from the above reduced-price pay-per-view option, I would suggest that 50 per cent would be retained by the Premier League and 50 per cent would go to the football pyramid below.

"As a club, Newcastle United did vote in favour of the pay-per-view proposal, but to be clear, this was because there were no realistic or any viable alternatives put forward to enable supporters to watch matches."

  • Premier League
  • Manchester United FC
  • Manchester City FC
  • Liverpool FC
  • Leicester City FC
  • Tottenham Hotspur FC
  • Everton FC
  • Southampton FC
  • Wolves FC
  • Chelsea FC
  • Aston Villa FC
  • Arsenal FC
  • Newcastle United FC
  • Leeds United FC
  • Crystal Palace FC
  • West Ham FC
  • Brighton Hove Albion FC
  • Fulham FC
  • West Bromwich Albion FC
  • Sheffield United FC
  • Burnley FC

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