SHARJAH // Sir Dave Richards, the chairman of the English Premier League, has rubbished Liverpool's demand for a greater share of the overseas broadcasting revenue.
Last week, Ian Ayre, Liverpool's managing director, suggested England's top clubs should receive a greater share from international television rights because of their popularity among fans and even be able to negotiate their own TV agreements.
Richards described Liverpool's proposal as "rubbish" and said: "The secret to the league is in what they call the founding members agreement and the founding members agreement states that the wealth will be shared 50, 25, 25 and overseas TV will be split equally.
"And it will stay like that because the founding members, that's what they wanted to do, that's what they are doing and that's what they will do in the future.
"You can't take one club and say, 'Well OK, because we are Liverpool ...'. What about the Boltons, the Blackburns, the Wigans? It's got to be fair for everyone."
In the Premier League, the first 50 per cent of UK broadcast revenue is split equally among all the clubs and 25 per cent is distributed according to the team's finishing position in the league. The remaining quarter is divided up based on how many TV appearances a team makes over the course of a season.
Fees from international networks, which are worth £1.4 billion (Dh8bn) from 2010-2013, are shared equally by the 20 clubs.
"At some point we definitely feel there has to be some rebalance because what we are actually doing is disadvantaging ourselves against the other big European clubs," Ayre said last week.
"If you're in Kuala Lumpur there isn't anyone subscribing to Astro or ESPN to watch Bolton; the large majority are subscribing because they want to watch Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea or Arsenal. So is it right that the international rights are shared equally between all the clubs?"
In other top leagues of Europe, Italy and Spain allow the sale of individual TV rights while in Germany, proceeds are divided among the 18 clubs based on their league ranking over four years and their popularity with international broadcasters.
Tom Werner, the Liverpool chairman, has also supported Ayre's proposal saying: "We feel we deserve the fruits of our labour".
Other top English clubs have distanced themselves from Liverpool, with Manchester United and Chelsea releasing statements supporting the current shared model as it helps to "spread the wealth".
The Premier League "top four" have, however, been discussing the idea of a breakaway European league along with the continent's other elite clubs for some time now. It was first discussed in 1998 and more recently, Florentino Perez, the Real Madrid president, has been championing the idea.
Arsene Wenger, the Arsenal manager, has said a super league would become reality within 10 years time due to revenue pressure on the continent's elite teams.
Richards, however, does not see that happening ever.
"For 10 years, we've talked about a Super League, a Norwegian League, a European League," he said. "You've got the Champions League, which is the European League and that is fantastic. No matter what anybody says, it's a fantastic league. No, I can't ever see the Premier League developing into a Super League with six of them, no."
Sir Richards also supported Uefa's Financial Fair Play regulations, which limit the amount of loss a club can make.
According to the rules, a club's losses should not exceed £39.4m over two years from the start of next season or risk being kicked out of European competitions.
"I think it is good," he said. "It won't be easy in the first few years, but we will make it work.
"The majority of our clubs are owned by very, very wealthy individuals. A few million a year loss is not that difficult, but it would be nice to see us breaking even. It should be good for the clubs."