Like every other football fan, I was shocked and appalled when Ahmed Nashaat sent us a link this morning to the news that outgoing Premier League chief Richard Scudamore was to be given £250,000 by each Premier League club, as a golden handshake. In the farcical world that is the Premier League, this is something that the clubs are currently discussing and I for one think that this news represents exactly what is wrong with the current state of football. Let’s hope that the money is not given by the clubs, but there is something inside me that says they will agree to this most disgusting of requests.
During his tenure as chief of the Premier League Richard Scudamore has regularly plunged the league into controversy from talks of a foreign-based 39th game to the awfully slow approach to installing goal-line technology. During this time the chief has made over £26 million in wages, far more than many of the league’s players will make in their careers. This is just one reason why the request for clubs to give him a going away gift, is something that riles all football fans.
Under the tutelage of Richard Scudamore, grassroots football has begun to die a slow and painful death with many pitches not fit for purpose and many towns and communities having to close their local sides because of lack of money. The first question is how dare this man demand anything after the sham that he has been involved in for the last 15 years? And the second is why don’t the clubs pledge £250,000 to grassroots football rather than lining this charlatan’s pockets even further? This country has been built on the grassroots system and Richard Scudamore is responsible for almost killing this off with poor management and a gross lack of funding.
Something which Scudamore will be lauded for when the history books discuss his tenure as chief of the Premier League is the huge sums of money which he was able to negotiate from the TV companies. Rightfully this money has been used to help relegated clubs by way of the parachute payments system, and of course helped to further line the pockets the richest clubs in the league, rightly or wrongly. The notion however that he would then ask for some of that money back as some kind of token of gratitude is laughable, however, and a huge own goal on his behalf. This final gesture would seem to cement the notion that Scudamore was in this for himself as much as he was for the league on the whole.
The Premier League have shot themselves in the foot once again on a day where they should be applauded for hiring the first female chief of the world’s most famous league. Susanna Dinnage should be the story here, not some greedy man looking for one final payday.