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11th Jan 2022

Premier League awarded £157million payout after court case against Inter Milan owners

Daniel Brown

The payout was awarded by the High Court

The Premier League have been awarded a minimum £157million payout following a court case against the owners of Serie A giants Inter Milan.

However, the Premier League still face a wait to actually receive the payout – plus interest and costs – as awarded by the High Court, according to the Mirror.

In 2016, Premier League executives agreed an overseas TV deal with PPTV worth in excess of £564million, which was 12 times more than previous rights holders, Super Sports Media, were paying.

PPTV are owned by the Suning Holdings Group, who currently own Italian champions Inter Milan.

The deal, which was set to begin in 2019, would see all 380 Premier League games per season streamed in China for three seasons – becoming the league’s largest overseas TV deal.

However, with an initial payment of £257million going unpaid, they also failed to make their second payment – of £160million – to the Premier League in March 2020.

With the Premier League receiving nothing even six months later, suggestions began to circulate that PPTV were looking to renegotiate the deal and escalate tensions between the British and Chinese governments.

This came after Boris Johnson opted to block Chinese technology giant Huawei’s involvement in the UK’s new 5G network.

The Premier League announced its termination of the contract with PPTV in 2020, stating: “The Premier League confirms that it has today terminated its agreements for Premier League coverage in China with its licensee in that territory.

“The Premier League will not be commenting further on the matter at this stage.”

A PPTV statement read: “After many rounds of talks, there remain disagreements on the value of rights between PP Sports and the Premier League and regrettably we have not reached an agreement with the Premier League.

“Although PP Sports has overpaid the Premier League in advance of the copyright cycle, PP Sports will terminate its cooperation with the Premier League.”

Amid ongoing financial uncertainty, the Suning group disbanded their Chinese Super League side, Jiangsu FC, in March 2021, with Inter Milan also seeing a number of a big names – including Romelu Lukaku and Achraf Hakimi – sold after the Nerazzurri’s Series A title win.

It is thought that Suning have held talks with a number of companies about selling Inter in recent months, and shares in the parent company were frozen in July 2021.

Zhang Jindong, the company’s founder, stepped down from his role after a £1bn bailout from a consortium led by the Chinese government and tech firms was finalised.

Despite this, Jindong – who remains as honorary chairman – said in an annual letter to investors in the company: “With the support of the Chinese government and through our continuing efforts, the debt problem at our group has gradually stabilised.”

Considering that, as well as the High Court ruling, the Premier League will likely believe that they will be able to reclaim the money it’s owed.

It is also thought that the figure will continue to rise each month, according to the contract.

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