Clubs have lost control of sport to TV: Ferguson

26 September 2011 08:05

Television and not the clubs control English football, Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson told the BBC on Monday.

The 69-year-old said that United and their rivals were paying the price for the big money that television was paying for having the rights to show English Premier League matches live.

The present deal struck for the period of 2010-2013 allows BSkyB and ESPN (who took over Setanta's part of the deal when they ran out of funds) to show 138 games a season at a combined cost of £1.782billion.

Under the deal, United earned more than £60million from television last season - a combination of fees for having their matches shown live, and prize money based upon league position.

Ferguson said he found the schedule very demanding especially on weeks when they were involved in European action.

"When you shake hands with the devil you have to pay the price," said Ferguson.

"Television is God at the moment.

"It shows itself quite clearly because when you see the fixture lists come out now, they can pick and choose whenever they want the top teams on television.

"You get some ridiculous situations when you're playing on Wednesday night in Europe and then at lunchtime the following Saturday. You ask any manager if they would pick that themselves and there'd be no chance."

Ferguson believes also that the clubs are not reaping the financial benefits they deserve given the global reach of the sport.

"When you think of that (the Premier League selling their product to 200 countries) I don't think we get enough money," he said.

Source: AFP