Newcastle owner Mike Ashley calls on Premier League to review PPV prices

Newcastle owner Ashley proposes charging £4.95 per match until Christmas and calls on Government to waive VAT; Premier League shareholders' meeting on Tuesday

Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley watches the team in Premier League action vs Brighton
Image: Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley says half of profit from pay-per-view matches should go to the lower leagues

Newcastle owner Mike Ashley has called on the Premier League to urgently review its current pay-per-view arrangements.

During October, matches not initially selected for regular TV broadcast have been made available on a pay-per-view basis accessed via Sky Sports' and BT Sport's existing Box Office platforms at £14.95 each.

The Premier League announced the decision following Government-imposed restrictions on supporters attending matches, which mean all games currently take place behind closed doors.

But ahead of a Premier League shareholders' meeting scheduled for Tuesday, where pay-per-view will be discussed, Ashley has called for a £10 reduction on current prices.

"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.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 01: The official Nike Premier League Match Ball on October 1, 2020 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Visionhaus)
Image: The PPV agreement will be reviewed in line with any decisions regarding the return of fans to stadiums, the Premier League has said

"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?

Newcastle owner Mike Ashley will want 'full support' from fellow Premier League clubs over his request for current pay-per-view arrangements to be reviewed, says his spokesperson Keith Bishop.

"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."

The Premier League has not yet commented on Ashley's statement.

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