Football: Vox Pop: Are Murdoch-style buy-outs of football clubs good for the game?
Sunday 13 September 1998
Crystal Palace director
United is bound to change. It's been a family-run club for a long time even though specialist financial people have recently become involved. I'm interested in the effect Murdoch has had on the LA Dodgers. He's thrown a lot of money at it but that hasn't led to any great success. United's success has been based on a unique blend of home-grown talent and imported stars who don't upset the apple cart. They might now go for the likes of Ronaldo, but such people don't guarantee success.
Man Utd shareholder
It's an appalling move and another sign of how football clubs are becoming big businesses whose sole objective is to create vast profits, dole out dividends and pay enormous salaries and bonuses to executives. Clubs should be owned and run by people who support them. Equally important is the conflict of interest which will arise when the Premier League renegotiate the TV contract. It's tragic how few club chairmen or broadcasters have spoken out against this.
It's inevitable it will go through. What would happen, though, if Andy Gray was interviewing Alex Ferguson on Sky? Both would have the same boss. Nothing much will change on the playing side except that United will pay even higher salaries. It won't have a knock-on effect on clubs like ours, but we might benefit if Sky make a greater contribution to the Nationwide League. It's not really desirable to have so much power concentrated in one place, but I haven't a clue what you do about it.
Football League chairman
For the widest good of the game, this must be resisted strongly. It will widen the gap between the rich and the rest, but he's been very clever. If the Office of Fair Trading say the Premier League's TV deal is illegal because they're acting as a cartel, then the top clubs will do their own deals. If the OFT sanction the present arrangement, as we hope they do, then he still has a place at the table. I can't see how this is good for anybody other than United, Murdoch and BSkyB.
Head of Sky Sports
When Best, Charlton, Law & Co took the title in 1967, United's average gate was 53,854. Capacity will rise to 67,400, and those new seats must be priced accessibly. Alex Ferguson must be free to bid for the best players to stay ahead in the Premier League and Europe, but the proud youth tradition begun by the Busby Babes should also be safeguarded. Sky will invest, lend marketing and promotional skills, and exploit worldwide contacts (which does not mean shuffling match days and times to suit overseas TV).
In a free-market economy it is difficult to stop a willing buyer and seller from doing a deal. But it is dangerous to allow one person to control everything. It certainly increases the distance between clubs like Manchester United and our own. United played a friendly here last year which raised pounds 100,000, and paid three of my players' salaries. I can't see that happening in the future. I don't think Rupert Murdoch's got any real interest in football.
INTERVIEWS: PAUL TROW
filmFilm producers sue Warner Bros for $75m over Hobbit films
voicesJust when you thought you could find a man, get married, and have a baby by the age of 35... it turns out you’re too late, says Grace Dent
Swedish stars ask fans for £195 pledges on crowd-funding website
Latest in Sport
Tottenham to use controversial blood-spinning technique to speed Jan Vertonghen return
World Cup 2014: Football Manager developers predict the team of the tournament - but which England player makes it into the XI?
Roy Keane omits Paul Scholes, Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs from 'greatest' Manchester United team
Transfer news: Wayne Rooney sparks Manchester United exit rumours after rejecting new contract talks - reports
Champions League last 16 draw 2013: Who could Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United meet?
- 1 Nelson Mandela memorial: ‘Bogus’ interpreter made mockery of Barack Obama’s tribute in Soweto
- 2 French café starts charging extra to rude customers
- 3 Australia: Gay marriage law reversed by high court less than a week after first weddings
- 4 Not all right on the night
- 5 Australia incest case: Severely deformed children found in remote farming community after generations of inbreeding
£62000 Per Annum plus benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client ba...
£90 - £160 per annum: Randstad Education Leicester: Randstad Education is curr...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Chelmsford: English Teacher Essex
Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: The Manchester SEN team require Tea...