Manchester United's Sir Alex Ferguson attacks power of Sky and TV

26 September 2011 01:55
Sir Alex Ferguson has launched a stinging attack on the power of TV broadcasters - claiming they have jostled clubs into a corner.

The Manchester United boss has spoken out at what he perceives are the tough conditions teams have to work under given the huge power of television companies.

In a clear swipe at the likes of Sky Sports, Ferguson has even suggested that clubs are ripped off when it comes to the huge payments they receive for broadcasts.

The boss: Sir Alex Ferguson (left) with Mike Phelan and Bryan Robson at training

Claiming Premier League coverage is sold to around 200 countries, he told BBC North West Tonight: 'When you think of that I don't think we get enough money.'

In a hard-hitting interview, Ferguson criticises the control that TV companies have over the national game. He said: 'When you shake hands with the devil you have to pay the price. Television is God at the moment.'

Just warming up: United play Basel in the Champions League on Tuesday

Opportunity knocks: Dimitar Berbatov (centre) and Michael Owen (right) are set to play against the Swiss side with Wayne Rooney and Javier Hernandez missing

Ferguson now believes that clubs have been backed into a corner over the fixture list that is decided by live TV games - and that this has a negative impact on the teams competing in Europe.

The 69-year-old added: '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.

We deserve more! Ferguson said that United are underpaid by TV companies

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

The Premier League's TV deal was renewed in February 2009, with Sky paying over ?1.6billion to show five 23-game packages.

Game for a laugh: Danny Welbeck (centre) at Carrington on Monday

Centre of attention: United keeper David de Gea in training

One-time rivals Setanta paid ?159m for 69 matches over the three years before the package was taken over by ESPN.

On average, clubs earning ?4.3m for each game shown on live TV.

Last season United were paid just over ?60m due to the amount of times their games were televised, and also for winning the Premier League. 

As seen on TV: United's six league games this season have all been shown live

So far this season all six of United's league games have been broadcast live on television. Next Saturday's home game against Norwich will be the first time this season the Red Devils will have kicked off at 3pm on a Saturday.

United are scheduled to appear live three more times by the end of November.

You're on camera: United striker Wayne Rooney (centre) was reprimanded for swearing into a SKY camera after scoring at Upton Park last season

In contrast to the veteran manager, former Football Association chief executive Brian Barwick suggested that United owed much of their success under Ferguson to TV money.

'Sir Alex's comments always have to be taken seriously, he is a very wise and experienced football man,' Barwick told the BBC.

'But on this one, I do think Manchester United have almost had a lions share of TV revenue over a period of time and it has helped build a fantastic stadium in Old Trafford and helped build Sir Alex's teams with star players.

'Manchester United will always do well in the television market because a lot of people follow them.

'The Premier League should be applauded for the number of countries it has got the game to. It has been a massive success story.'

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Source: Daily_Mail