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02nd Nov 2020

Pay-per-view Premier League scheme could be binned during lockdown

According to the Telegraph, the Premier League's pey-per-view scheme that charges fans £14.95 a game could be axed during lockdown

Reuben Pinder

Who could have known that charging an extra £14.95 to watch West Brom vs Burnley wouldn’t go down well?

Premier League clubs reportedly want to axe the pay-per-view scheme during the second national lockdown, which comes into action on Thursday.

The Premier League are now under increasing pressure to scrap the controversial scheme and make more matches free-to-air, as they did when the league returned in the summer, with the occasional game being shown live on the BBC and Amazon Prime.

Fans of numerous clubs have boycotted the scheme, instead choosing to donate the money they would have spent on the game to local food banks in a show of solidarity with local communities at a time when food poverty is on the rise.

Despite the thousands boycotting the service, Premier League clubs had initially agreed to retain the £14.95 price until after the international break, when it would be assessed once again based on viewing figures.

But with a second national lockdown coming, the Telegraph expect a motion to be tabled to scrap the scheme altogether.

The prospect of fans returning to stadiums is as far away as ever, and clubs are desperate to avoid another PR disaster, with many fans still paying for a season ticket they can’t use.

“Pay-per-view was all about the Premier League understanding that they had the fans over a barrel and they knew they would pay the additional amount of money,” MP Ian Mearns, chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Football Supporters told the Mail.

“I don’t see why we cannot have more free-to-air games now we are in a national lockdown then anyone can watch them. People in dire financial straits can actually watch these games if the club they love is participating.”

Surprisingly, some of the strongest opposition to the scheme has come from Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley, who believes the price should be cut from £14.95 to £4.95.