Premier League suspend £6m Russia broadcasting deal in wake of Ukraine invasion and donate £1m in relief support

Premier League suspend £6m Russia broadcasting deal in wake of Ukraine invasion and donate £1m in relief support

PREMIER LEAGUE clubs have torn up their Russian TV deal.

The 20 club chiefs agreed to ‘suspend’ the £6m deal with Rambler, owned by the state-run Sberbank, at a meeting in London.

The decision went through on the nod with no dissent after a discussion that lasted barely 15 minutes.

All clubs were said to be in agreement as a statement of intent on behalf of the Premier League.

One club boss emerged from the meeting to confirm: “It was absolutely the right thing to do. That was why it was done so quickly.”

Prem chiefs had been criticised for not pulling the plug on the contract last week.

Instead, Russian TV viewers were presented by a united front as support for Ukraine was displayed at all 10 top flight matches.

The unnamed club boss added: “It was really good that the message was sent out on behalf of the Premier League and English football last weekend.

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“The Russian people now know what the football fans of this country think.”

A Prem spokesman also revealed the League would donate £1m to support the people of Ukraine.

The donation will be made to the Disasters emergency Committee to deliver humanitarian aid.

A statement confirmed: “The Premier League and its clubs today unanimously agreed to suspend our agreement with Russian broadcast partner Rambler (Okko Sport) with immediate effect and to donate £1 million to support the people of Ukraine.

“The League strongly condemns Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. We call for peace and our thoughts are with all those impacted.

“The £1 million donation will be made to the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) to deliver humanitarian aid directly to those in need. 

“This action follows a weekend of matches displaying League-wide support for Ukraine. All club captains wore special armbands and fans joined players, managers, match officials and club staff in a moment of reflection and solidarity before kick-off at each game.

“Big screens displayed ‘Football Stands Together’ against the backdrop of the blue and yellow colours of the Ukrainian flag. These words were also shown on LED perimeter boards during matches.

“This message of solidarity was visible to fans around the world across Premier League digital channels and via match broadcasts. 

“This is in addition to the numerous ways in which clubs continue to display their support.”

Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston said: “This is absolutely the right thing to do and we fully support the Premier League's decision to stop broadcasting matches in Russia in response to Putin's barbaric, senseless invasion of Ukraine. 

“Russia cannot be allowed to legitimise its illegal war through sport and culture, and we must work together to ensure Putin remains a pariah on the international stage.”

It remains to be seen whether the Premier League will also suspend their £41.5m deal with Match TV, owned by Russia bank Gazprombank, which is due to start next season and was agreed for six seasons.

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