Prem clubs have been hit with an £86m legal threat as they meet for the first time in five weeks.
The 20 clubs voted to dump Chinese broadcaster PPTV in October after the company reneged on the first £160m payment due under their three-year deal.
A legal case and claim of £165m was lodged at London’s Commercial Court as the League found a short-term replacement for this season.
But now PPTV had countersued, claiming £86m in damages and alleging they had “suffered huge loss, including lost advertising revenue, membership revenue and so on” as a result of the three-month Covid shutdown last term.
PPTV also insist they paid £128m in advance – a claim denied by the Prem – and accused the League of inconsistency in its business approach.
A PPTV spokesman said: “The Premier League seems to have adopted a double standard and treated a domestic UK broadcaster differently from a Chinese broadcaster.
“We have made our best efforts to reach a compromise, but we have been left with no choice but to take legal action.”
Prem chiefs were unmoved by the legal threat and are likely to confirm the confidence of their legal stance at the “shareholder” meeting.