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The Football League Action - The Consequences

By: Bill Osborne
Date: 23/09/2004

AS reported yesterday, the Football League have announced that they are seeking damages from the firm of solicitors who acted on their behalf during the TV rights negotiations with ITV Digital.

If it happens that the League win their case, or an amicable settlement is made, those clubs who were in the league at the time of the collapse of ITV Digital would expect to be in the share out of funds.

One would expect that any share out would be on the same basis as the TV payments where the higher the division, the more they received.

So Grimsby Town would expect to have a reasonable percentage of the funds being a second division club at the time of the ITV Digital fallout.

But it seems that some clubs, who went into administration sometime after, and got over that and are back in the League, may not get a single penny.

The reason for that is that all monies that are due to a company that is defunct, are the property of the crown.

The majority of the clubs that came out of administration, came out under a new company and that company or club was not part of the ITV Digital agreement nor where those clubs who are now in the League but were in the Conference League.

Any club that goes into administration before the case is settled will be in the same boat. Because the company that existed at the time the TV contract terminated would not exist.

So even if the League do win, it will not be wine and roses for everyone in the Football League (now the Coca Cola League which I refuse to call it)

One would hope therefore that the League would find a better system of paying out the settlement. Football clubs in the lower leagues have had some torrid times financially, very few are wealthy clubs, and it would be a pity if some clubs were left out of any share out if it eventuates.

Surely the clubs in the Football League are not as greedy as those in the Premiership.

Or are they?

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