I hope everything is good. We have not met but thought I'd say hi. Can I call you Dick.
As a colleague, Bristolian, and someone who has also worked in sports for a long time, I thought I would write you a note about the news about your £ 5m-out gift from the FA Premier League. You have got this for outstanding services. Well done.
You probably know that this has been greeted in many circles with barriers. An example of the soccer's greedy and ruthless culture. But I will continue on this later.
First of all, I would like to congratulate Dick on your role with the organization and your 19 year dedicated service. During this period, you have monitored the development of the Premier League into a worldwide phenomenon. It now stands as the most lucrative football league in the world.
When you took over as a director in 1999, TV rights were £ 670 million and has now spun an astronomical £ 5.14 billion.
So it can be argued that your annual salary of 2.5 miles, and your departure gift is a certain drop in the ocean compared to this.
There is no doubt that there has been a big financial success Dick, but at what cost?
The Bristol City fan claimed a shock of £ 5m payout from Manchester United, Liverpool and the rest of the Premier League
Many would argue that football has lost its soul. Many would argue that you have done the inequality and complaint between the best clubs and the rest as fundamentally unfair. Many would argue that you have excellent working class families, to what is increasingly becoming a rich person's game.
But we can watch it on the telly you might say. Of course it's true as long as you can afford to pay for Sky or BT Sport. And if you choose, more and more young fans from cities such as Grimbsy, Lincoln and Scunthorpe choose to support Man City and Chelsea because of this. Once a team was supported and centered around a local community, it is no longer a given one. Presence at lower league clubs is currently the lowest in history.
But look at the funding that has come to the grassroots level as you cry. Be sure to point out that 7% of Premier League money goes to grassroots levels.
Well, with justice for you, Dick, I have to say that under your tankship there were actually record levels of investments in grassroots sports. The football foundation was started on your watch, although we both know that you needed a little push to do it.
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The foundation has allocated 17,000 grants worth more than £ 615 million to improve grassroots sports, which has been used to attract additional £ 817 million partnership funds – in excess of $ 1.4 billion in the grassroots game. This should be applauded.
But we both know, although this rarely makes press releases, 100 million kronor goes to Football League solidarity payments and the remaining £ 100 million only $ 24 million goes to the football foundation. Which is not much in terms of a percentage. I think it will be about 1.5% then. Although my matrices are not as strong as yours, they rarely need to count on the high numbers you make.
Sure, you know, there is a crisis in football plans in Britain, many in a state of maturity without proper maintenance. Every weekend hundreds of games are unnecessarily interrupted, the latest research indicates 1 to 6 each weekend. While the Premier League domestic and foreign TV rights double the Bundesliga, in England there are half as many 3G sites. But the funding has not come, it has fallen on deaf ears ..
You have failed to deliver on promises that new measures will be introduced in 2006 to increase grassroots funding despite intense lobbying by Richard Gaborn, the former sports minister, as we all know was the one who really secured the previous Premier League grassroots package.
So it can not be a surprise that your golden handshake causes some people to feel annoyed.
The idea that the Premier League clubs themselves should contribute £ 250,000 each to make a $ 5 million gift feels strange. To honor Caesar. But you can argue that they owe you because you've made them so much money. Fair Point Dick.
One of the most powerful men in football just wants to see more Bristol City games
And even if they pay over £ 200 million in agency fees every year, there's really not much you might say.
But to remind you, the average football fan, the football club and the local football player in football players, this probably looks simply obscene.
In your heart of hearts, you know that there are better ways to use this money.
I hope Richard, I will focus you more formally this time, as a man who has undoubtedly succeeded in some areas, you can find it in your heart to donate all the money to grassroots organizations to be redistributed back into the game. Not 1.5% or even 7%, but how's everything?
Only then will your legacy really be secured.
I hope you find it in your heart to do it. I know if you came back to Ashton Gate to see your beloved Bristol City then you will be a hero. If not …. yes … that would be a shame. A real shame.
I trust you will do the right thing, and act like a Richard, and make us proud of the Bristolies.
PS But if you can borrow me £ 200 that would be good.