PREMIER LEAGUE chiefs are reportedly planning to pay £10million to police in a bid to televise high-profile matches in prime-time slots.
The Mail claims there’s a “growing reluctance” from coppers to police games between rivals in the late afternoon and evenings.
The chances of trouble between fans is likely to be higher for a later kick-off.
And one source told the Mail that the league’s potential £10m offer is “nothing but a sweetener” to convince the police to let big games be televised at later times in the day.
The Premier League refused to comment after being contacted by SunSport.
But sources said that many options are under review “to support police in keeping match-goers and communities safe.”
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It’s reckoned any potential cash payment could be a one-off, with money distributed to forces needing it at the given time.
The report comes after next month’s mega clash between Man City and Liverpool was moved after being due to be shown at 5.30pm.
After police concerns, the game was shunted forward to 12.30pm.
Last season, Chelsea did manage to secure a 5.30pm game against rivals Man United.
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However, the Red Devils’ away allowance was cut in half from 3,000 to 1,500 to make it happen, leaving a lot of supporters upset.
It’s also reckoned the Premier League are taking viewing figures in America into account.
A 12.30pm kick-off starts at 7.30am on the eastern seaboard and is even earlier for fans on the west coast, meaning they are more likely to catch the later games.
A statement to the Mail from the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC), who SunSport also reached out to, read: “The most recent costing exercise this year showed that policing subsidises football to a significant extent, and the impact of the Ipswich ruling costs forces an extra £41m per year.
“Policing has had to increase its commitment to football to address increases in disorder, and has significantly increased the numbers of arrests and banning orders to keep football safe for the vast majority of fans.
“Any increased funding to close that gap is welcome, but it must be sustainable and should not be linked to kick-off times.
“Any policing considerations of when games kick-off are based on public safety and the capacity of forces to deliver wider core roles within their communities. Safety must always trump commercial interests.”
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