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TV Deal Signed - Cash for Clubs

By: Bill Osborne
Date: 30/10/2002

With no other option open to them the Football League has accepted a deal from ITV, which will allow ITV to show highlights of league games.

Some clubs voted against the deal as they remembered ITV's attitude to the ITV Digital collapse. But as there were no other options available the league accepted the offer and signed a two year contract.

The Football League will receive £5m. £2m cash and a £3m advance on the liquidation of ITV Digital. It will also not to pay Carlton and Granada's £1m costs from the unsuccessful legal action against them as ITV Digital's owners.

The 72 clubs will receive immediate cash payments of £111,000 for First Division clubs; £54,000 for Second Division sides; and 42,000 for those in Third Division.

No one is pleased with the TV companies who plunged the clubs into debt but the League have been hawking the highlights package around for some months now without any significant offer and have accepted the best deal they can get.

For clubs like Grimsby Town, £111,000 is a welcome additional income and coupled with the proposed £300,000 gift and £500,000 loan from the Football League will bring almost a million in funds to a club that has had to reduce staff wages to survive.

But we are not out of the woods yet with a forecast of a £3m loss to be reported. What it will do is give the club time to regroup and continue its cost cuttings in the hope that the same situation does not re-occur next season.

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