Watford, Liverpool and their Premier League rivals given financial warning over restart delays

Watford and their Premier League rivals could be forced to pay an additional £35 million per week to TV broadcasters if there are further delays to Project Restart.

Top flight football is set to return on June 17, more than three months since all professional football in England was suspended back in March, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The resumption of the season has still hit Watford and the other Premier League clubs in their wallets, though, with a £330 million rebate reportedly agreed with broadcasters as a result of matches being played behind closed doors.

With that deal agreed, clubs will be told on Wednesday that the refund will be far higher if there are further delays to the revised schedule they announced last week, report the Daily Mail.

The £330m figure is based on three rounds of fixtures having been scheduled for after July 16, which was the original completion date in all of the Premier League’s broadcasting contracts and it will rise by £35 million for every week the season extends beyond the weekend of July 25-26.

The best-performing clubs will pay more of the rebate, as part of the broadcast fees is based on league position and TV appearances.

The report states that Liverpool will repay £24.5 million if they win the title, while bottom club Norwich would pay just £7.1m, although there may be some opposition from the bigger clubs who are being asked to foot more of the bill.

Curtailment of the season would have cost Premier League clubs a whopping £762 million, over double the current fee of £330 million.

The Premier League will use the prospect of financial disaster to push for a speedy resolution to outstanding issues on Thursday before a final vote on returning to action, set for next Thursday.

In addition to the issues such as more substitutes, re-registering players and a multi-ball system, the most hotly-debated topic will be over deciding league positions if the season is not completed.

An unweighted points-per-game system, as adopted by the English Football League is the most likely solution, which would currently relegate Norwich, Aston Villa and Bournemouth, the current bottom three.

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