Football: FA infuriated BSkyB's Gascoigne ploy

THE relationship between the Football Association and BSkyB was seriously jeopardised in the High Court yesterday when the Premier League's new paymaster was granted an injunction allowing it to broadcast Paul Gascoigne's debut for Lazio against Tottenham live from Rome tonight.

The FA is furious, not to say embarrassed, and feels so strongly about BSkyB's actions it is ready to back out of a long-term agreement with the satellite company for the rights to show the FA Cup and England internationals.

Supported by the associations of Scotland, Wales and Ireland, the FA objected to the broadcast, to safeguard the interests of the home clubs involved in tonight's 18 Coca-Cola second-round ties. It cited Uefa's Article 14, which permits a home authority to veto any broadcast into its own country from abroad. Mr Justice Laws, however, ruled it was in restraint of trade.

As the founding fathers of the Premier League, the FA had entered into a lucrative partnership with BSkyB. The two sides were moving towards a five-year deal for coverage of the FA Cup and England games. Now, six weeks into the season, they find themselves on opposite sides in court.

Trevor Phillips, commercial director of the FA, said: 'I am at a total loss to understand the motives of BSkyB. How they can put the value of a long-term relationship with us against a short-term meaningless friendly is beyond me.

'Because of what has happened I am now exceedingly nervous about entering into a lengthy agreement with someone who does not hesitate to take me to court and doesn't even have the courtesy to notify me.

'It is no basis for trust or an alliance. And I know that the other television stations, BBC and ITV, would not have acted in this way. Traditionally they respect the agreements between the football authorities that certain domestic weeks have to be kept free of live football.'

Trust Gazza. After a long and tortuous road back from injury it was surely asking too much to expect his comeback would be a smooth one, and even before he attempts to kick a ball with the damaged right leg that will be the focus of all attention in the Olympic Stadium, controversy is once more only one step behind.

This time, though, the row is none of his making. BSkyB, in anticipation that the friendly with his former club would validate his fitness, his availability for his Serie A debut on Sunday against Genoa, and his readiness to return for England in next month's first World Cup qualifying tie with Norway, was determined to show it even if it meant riding through football's regulations.

The Football League found irony in a situation where it was also attempting to safeguard Premier League clubs, whose gates might be affected by a live broadcast by their TV supporters.

'Regardless of whether the game is a friendly, and regardless of it appearing on a satellite channel, the fact is that we are concerned about a live match going out in direct opposition to a full list of domestic fixtures,' the League's broadcasting chief, Lee Walker, said.

'I asked the FA at the end of the week whether the correct procedure had been followed. They said it hadn't but that if an application was made (to screen the match live) then it would be refused.'

Two seasons ago Hearts were fined pounds 60,000 by Uefa when they featured in a live match without permission. Earlier this season, the FA ran into trouble with the Scottish FA over BSkyB broadcasting the Charity Shield live north of the border.

In this instance the FA will complain to Uefa about the Italian FA's involvement. In addition the FA are hinting that the Premier League might take its own action against Spurs.

News
Pro-Russia rebels guard a train containing the bodies of victims of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH 17 crash in Torez, Ukraine
i100
Life and Style
Child's play: letting young people roam outdoors directly contradicts the current climate
lifeHow much independence should children have?
Arts and Entertainment
Tycoons' text: Warren Buffett and Bill Gates both cite John Brookes' 'Business Adventures' as their favourite book
booksFind out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Property
Sign here, please: Magna Carta Island
propertyYours for a cool £4m
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Struggling actors who scrape a living working in repertory theatres should get paid a 'living wage', Sir Ian McKellen has claimed
theatre
News
Skye McCole Bartusiak's mother said she didn't use drink or drugs
peopleActress was known for role in Mel Gibson film The Patriot
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Damon Albarn is starting work on a new West End musical
artsStar's 'leftfield experimental opera' is turning mainstream
Life and Style
Paul and his father
artsPaul Carter wants to play his own father in the film of his memoirs
Sport
Ben Stokes trudges off after his latest batting failure for England as Ishant Sharma celebrates one of his seven wickets
cricket
Arts and Entertainment
Members of the public are invited to submit their 'sexcapades' to Russell T Davies' new series Tofu
tv
News
Sky's Colin Brazier rummages through an MH17 victim's belongings live on air
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game
arts + ents'The Imitation Game' stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley
Extras
indybest
News
i100... and no one notices
Arts and Entertainment
Friends reunited: Julian Ovenden, Richard Cant and Matt Bardock in rehearsals for the Donmar revival of 'My Night
with Reg'
theatrePoignancy of Kevin Elyot's play being revived just after his death
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Year 5/6 Teacher

£100 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: The successful applicant w...

Year 5/6 Teacher

£21000 - £35000 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: The JobThe successful ...

Business Analyst (Systems/ Incident Analyst)

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Business Analyst r...

SAP GRC Architect / Consultant

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: I am currently looking for a PERMANENT S...

Day In a Page

Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn
Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Meet the man who doesn't want to go down in history as the country's last Scottish Secretary
Legoland Windsor's master model-makers reveal the tricks of their trade (including how to stop the kids wrecking your Eiffel Tower)

Meet the people who play with Lego for a living

They are the master builders: Lego's crack team of model-makers, who have just glued down the last of 650,000 bricks as they recreate Paris in Windsor. Susie Mesure goes behind the scenes
The 20 best days out for the summer holidays: From Spitfires to summer ferry sailings

20 best days out for the summer holidays

From summer ferry sailings in Tyne and Wear and adventure days at Bear Grylls Survival Academy to Spitfires at the Imperial War Museum Duxford and bog-snorkelling at the World Alternative Games...
Open-air theatres: If all the world is a stage, then everyone gets in on the act

All the wood’s a stage

Open-air productions are the cue for better box-office receipts, new audiences, more interesting artistic challenges – and a picnic
Rand Paul is a Republican with an eye on the world

Rupert Cornwell: A Republican with an eye on the world

Rand Paul is laying out his presidential stall by taking on his party's disastrous record on foreign policy
Self-preservation society: Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish

Self-preservation society

Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish
Generation gap opens a career sinkhole

Britons live ever longer, but still society persists in glorifying youth

We are living longer but considered 'past it' younger, the reshuffle suggests. There may be trouble ahead, says DJ Taylor