Manchester United Manager Sir Alex Ferguson Brands TV 'Devil'
Sir Alex Ferguson has criticised television for having too much control over football, describing the decision to sell broadcasting rights as “doing a deal with the devil”.
The Manchester United manager, who famously boycotted the BBC after a Panorama documentary about his son’s dealings in the transfer market now claims TV has too much power.
"When you shake hands with the devil you have to pay the price," he said in an interview with BBC North West Tonight, which is screened on Monday.
“Television is God at the moment. 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 themselves and there'd be no chance."
For Sir Alex the worst part is that the clubs are also losing out because the Premier League has sold rights to 200 countries.
“When you think of that I don't think we get enough money," the 69-year-old said.
Former Football Association chief executive Brian Barwick agreed that football is now "super-reliant on television" but suggested that TV revenue had helped facilitate United's success under Ferguson, reported the BBC.
The price of football has increased significantly over the years. Between 1992 and 1997 there were 60 games per season televised in a deal worth £191m.
Compare this to the 2010 to 2013 period where 138 games worth £1,782billion will be screened
Under these deals it means the average earnings for each live game shown is £4.3m. Manchester United, for example, earned £60m from TV deals last year.
The full interview will be shown on North West Tonight on BBC1 at 6.30pm.