United boss claims 'TV is God' in fixtures rant
Published 27/09/2011 | 05:00
ALEX Ferguson has accused television companies of enslaving English football and argued that Premier League clubs should be given a bigger slice of revenue from overseas sales.
When Manchester United face Norwich on Saturday it will be the first time for them this season that the traditional 3.0 kick-off time has not been moved to accommodate TV.
And, although clubs like United earn about £4.3m each time their games are broadcast live, Ferguson believes television now has too much power over the fixture list.
The United manager said: "When you shake hands with the devil you have to pay the price. Television is God at the moment.
"It can show itself quite clearly because when you see the fixture lists come out, they can pick and choose whenever they want the top teams on television.
"You get some ridiculous situations sometimes when you are playing on a Wednesday night in Europe and then at lunchtime the following Saturday. You ask any manager if they would pick that themselves and the answer would be, 'no chance'."
Unlike neighbours Manchester City, who have been drawn to play away after every one of their Champions League group games, United have been kindly treated by the Premier League's fixture list this season -- every one of their matches after a Champions League tie will be staged at Old Trafford.
However, Ferguson argued that the clubs should receive more than the £17m they are awarded annually from the sale of the league's overseas rights, which is the most lucrative in world football.
"The Premier League sells their product to over 200 countries around the world," Ferguson said. "And when you think of that, I don't think we get enough money."
Some would argue that United have been the principal beneficiaries of a deal that in February 2009 saw Sky pay an estimated £1.6bn for the right to show three seasons of football. (© Independent News Service)