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Statement From League
By: Bill Osborne
MARINERS Net, the official web site of Grimsby Town Football Club, have released the following statement from the Football League regarding the League's position in the ITV Digital situation.
After yesterday's meeting of The Football League senior executives and Chairmen of Division One clubs, the following statement has been issued.
The meeting resolved unanimously the following:
Â· The Board of The Football League will continue to engage Carlton Communications and Granada to secure a settlement of the current dispute. This would involve an assurance that the Â£89.25m due to The Football League in August this year will be paid. We are prepared to discuss the method for the payment of the final tranche of Â£89.25m in conjunction with the future of our media rights.
Â· In the absence of such a settlement, The Football League will commence proceedings against Carlton Communications and Granada for the amounts owed plus damages and costs. The claims would be expected to be in the region of Â£500m.
Â· If the ITV Sport Channel is closed down, The Football League will consider a number of options for licensing its product - the most popular football league in Europe - to other media platforms over the medium term. At this stage, no alternative would be ruled out.
The Football League's Chairman, Keith Harris, said:
"After a thorough discussion of all the issues relating to this contract, the Board and the heads of the First Division clubs are united in their determination to see honoured a contract freely entered into by two multi-billion pound companies. The clubs have in good faith built their medium term plans on contracted revenues. Carlton and Granada must not be allowed to renege on their commitments or cause irreparable damage to professional football clubs and their local communities."
David Burns, the League's Chief Executive, added:
"The First Division clubs are speaking with one voice. Their mandate to the executive is clear. Our strategy will continue to be pursued remorselessly until we have achieved a satisfactory conclusion to this highly regrettable state of affairs.
"The Football League will be advising the regulatory authorities concerning obligations and conduct and responsibilities of the Directors of Carlton, Granada and ITV Digital."
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