David Prosser: Premiership cries foul

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The Independent Online

Outlook Were you hoping to pay a bit less to watch Premiership football over the next few seasons, with Ofcom having ordered Sky to sell its coverage to rival broadcasters a bit more cheaply? If so, you will now have longer to wait for a price war – assuming one ever arrives – thanks to the very teams you were hoping to watch.

The Premier League's announcement yesterday that it is launching a legal challenge to Ofcom's ruling will be hard for many fans to stomach, particularly as it comes at the end of a season during which English football's financial mania seems to have finally caught up with it. Despite the assertions of the Premier League's chief executive, Richard Scudamore, it is not at all clear that the Ofcom ruling will result in broadcasters paying less to purchase sports rights: there is a good case for arguing that Sky might even end up with more cash in its coffers with which to bid.

If Mr Scudamore's fears are confirmed, it might just be the kick up the backside the Premier League needs. This is an organisation that seems incapable of recognising that its members have built a financial house of cards, despite the high-profile collapse of one of its members and the unsustainable debts of several others.