Expect cuts in subsidy, Thai League 1 clubs told

Expect cuts in subsidy, Thai League 1 clubs told

FAT boss Somyot Poompunmuang.
FAT boss Somyot Poompunmuang.

Football Association of Thailand (FAT) president Pol Gen Somyot Poompunmuang on Sunday admitted that finding a broadcaster to replace TrueVisions for the delayed Thai League 1 matches would not be easy.

"I am ready to talk to the clubs to see if they are willing to play more games per week so that we are able to wrap up the season within December 2020," said Somyot.

TrueVisions, the official Thai League 1 broadcaster, informed the FAT last week that it would only show live matches until Oct 25, but expressed its willingness to negotiate a new contract to ensure live broadcasts till Dec 31.

In a letter to the FAT, TrueVisions also demanded a reduction in rights fees because it got fewer games than what was stipulated in the contract due to a decision by the association to reduce the number of teams in the top flight to 16 from the previous 18.

Moreover, the season was suspended in March because of the coronavirus outbreak. It will resume in September this year and end in May next year.

Somyot said he will try to negotiate a deal with TrueVisions so that the broadcaster can beam the Thai League 1 matches live until the end of this year.

"It will be up to the clubs to decide if they are willing to play as many as three matches in a week so that we are able to wrap up the league by the end of this year," said the FAT chief.

He also warned the clubs to brace themselves for lower than expected income from TV rights.

"The lesser teams in the top league last season meant lesser TV coverage for TrueVisions so we are looking at a shortfall of 20 percent in TV revenues.

"This means that there is bound to be a reduction in the subsidy that each club receives from the association.

"Moreover, if we are unable to find a taker for the live telecasts for matches scheduled from January to May next year then he will have no income from the TV rights at all."

The FAT has a three-year contract with TrueVisions worth a total of 1.2 billion baht which expires in October this year.

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