LONDON, Nov 15 (Reuters) - English Premier League soccer clubs have agreed to pay departing executive chairman Richard Scudamore a five million pound ($6.4 million) bonus spread over three years, the league said on Thursday.
The proposed payment had been criticised by the Football Supporters’ Federation (FSF), who said it would be a “hugely unpopular” move.
The Premier League said in a statement it had been supported and endorsed by the 20 clubs at a shareholders’ meeting and added that Scudamore would retain an advisory role.
It said the payments recognised Scudamore’s work over the past 19 years and took into account “a comprehensive set of non-compete clauses” as well as ensuring his experience would remain available to them.
British media reports had suggested some of the Premier League’s smaller clubs were opposed to each paying 250,000 pounds towards the sum.
One of those smaller clubs, Burnley, said in a statement on their website, however, that they supported “the rationale behind such payments and the work carried out by the remuneration committee”.
The FSF had said in an earlier statement that fans strongly opposed the “golden handshake”.
“Premier League clubs have always told fan groups that budgets are planned in advance and there’s not a surplus of cash lying around from their extremely lucrative TV deal,” it said.
“Loyal football supporters continue to be inconvenienced by fixture changes to fit TV schedules, often losing out on travel costs or struggling to get to and from games in the first place.
“Now it appears clubs can stick their hands down the back of the sofa and find 250,000 pounds at a moment’s notice.”
The Premier League on Tuesday named Susanna Dinnage, a senior executive at media organisation Discovery, as their next chief executive.
Dinnage is currently the global president for Animal Planet at Discovery Inc.
$1 = 0.7824 pounds Reporting by Alan Baldwin; editing by Andrew Roche