Business of Sport
Fergie criticises power of TV
Manchester - Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has criticised television’s power over English football, adding that clubs deserve a greater share of the Premier League’s rights.
Ferguson has claimed the demands of broadcasters have seen clubs lose control over the allocation of fixtures, impacting on those clubs competing in Europe. "When you shake hands with the devil you have to pay the price," he told BBC North West Tonight. "Television is God at the moment."
He continued: "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."
The Premier League's latest rights deal, agreed in February 2009, saw Sky reportedly pay in excess of £1.6 billion for five 23-game packages from 2010-13. Setanta paid £159 million for one bundle of 69 matches over the same period, with this agreement later being taken over by ESPN. Meanwhile, overseas TV deals saw clubs earn just over £17 million last season. However, Ferguson said the Premier League sold its product to 200 countries and "when you think of that I don't think we get enough money".
The Barclays Premier League champion earned more than £60 million from television rights in 2010-11 through fees for having individual games shown live and prize money based upon league position. In addition, the club secured another €25.9 million from UEFA’s television market pool for its run to the Champions League final. United’s financial results for the year ending June 30 indicated that the club secured £119.4 million in media turnover, up £14.2 million on figures for the previous year.