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Broadcaster's failure will be 'tipping point' for Scotland

Some Scottish Premier League clubs could be forced out of business if broadcaster Setanta goes into administration, according to a former club chairman.

"I think it puts the future of one or two SPL clubs in jeopardy," said Labour peer Lord Foulkes, the former chairman of Hearts. "They are already struggling financially and this on top of it could be the tipping point. It is very serious.

"In some clubs it represents up to 20 per cent of their income and the loss of it would be really catastrophic," he told the BBC. "The bigger ones have got reserves that would carry them through even this kind of difficulty, but some of the smaller clubs in the SPL I know are already in financial difficulty and this kind of thing would just tip them over into a situation they could not recover from."

Lord Foulkes said Setanta had done "a very good job" in broadcasting Scottish football and added that he hoped a solution could be found. "The situation is now so grave in relation to the future of some of the clubs that all options need to be looked at," he said when asked if Sky could intervene.

Setanta suffered a fresh blow yesterday as BT Vision suspended any further sales of Setanta Sports. The board of the Irish broadcaster met yesterday to consider a last-ditch rescue package in a bid to stave off administration by selling off large chunks of the company.

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