Old Trafford manager speaks his mind.
Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson believes television has too much power over the English game.
In an exclusive interview with BBC North West Tonight, Ferguson said TV controls aspects of the game because of the vast amount of money it provides.
He claimed clubs had lost control over fixtures and this has had a detrimental effect on those competing in Europe.
“When you shake hands with the devil you have to pay the price,” he said. “Television is God at the moment.”
He 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.
“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 themself and there’d be no chance.”
And clubs, the 69-year-old Scot added, are not even getting the kind of money they deserve from TV. He said the Premier league sold their product to 200 countries and “when you think of that I don’t think we get enough money”.
SOURCE: BBC Sport
Clearly Sir Alex Ferguson has a point and he wisely pointed out that by ‘dancing with the devil’ this was a situation that was always going to arise. Basically the large sums pumped into football, not as high as the Man United boss would like admittedly, have in turn helped the Premier League stand above their competitors in terms of viewing power.
One wonders if the TV channels have as much power as Ferguson suggests, can they really pick and choose kick off times without any sanction from the Premier League, or it’s members? If so, then clearly someone should have seen such an issue arising when contracts were handed out and signed.
The Scot wants to see more money handed over by the TV companies but that seems highly unlikely, not least because the latest deal was more lucrative than the last and we are clearly living in an unstable economic age which clearly has knock on effects when it comes to advertising revenue that stations can make from screening top flight fixtures.