Premier League Say ALL Games Will Continue To Be Broadcast Live On TV

Pressure on the broadcasters from the Government could be a route towards gaining leverage against the clubs, but ministers may need to move quickly after Sky, the biggest broadcasting fish  of all, declined to launch outright condemnation of the plans.

“In the last 24 hours Sky Sports has passionately articulated the views of football fans on the importance of preserving and sustaining the whole football pyramid," the broadcaster said instead. "We are completely focused on supporting our long term football partners in the UK and in Europe, already providing fans with the best live action from the best football competitions in the world, and we have not been involved in any discussions with the proposed breakaway European Super League.”

BT Sport, the Champions League main rights-holder, was notably more vociferous in its criticism, saying it "believes the formation of a European Super League could have a damaging effect on the long term health of football in this country".

“As a sport broadcaster showing Premier League, Uefa club football and National League football as well as being lead partner for all the Home Nations football teams, we strongly believe that football makes a significant positive contribution to people’s lives at every level, and this needs to be protected,” a spokeswoman added.

The huge uncertainty around the breakaway means the Premier League, which met on Tuesday to discuss its legal options, is all-but-certain to postpone the imminent sell-off of its domestic TV rights for tender. Values were already due to fall marginally on the last cycle, and further uncertainty comes at a time when Sky, in particular, has already been trimming spending.

"I don't see how the auction can take place with this much uncertainty," Aquilina told Telegraph Sport. "And for the Super League too, we've always got to bear in mind that, particularly with the two examples of the UK broadcasters in Sky and BT, they've been stepping back with the spending on sports rights."

The Super League plotters believe that more regular games between each other will provide a global television spectacle worth upwards of £3.2 billion a year from broadcasters and sponsors, potentially even double the amount earned by the Champions League.

But as far as the potential TV riches alone are concerned, the grass may not be quite as green as the rebels thought.

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