Sports Letter: Chaos would follow from OFT victory

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Sir: I refer to your Leader "Football will win if we defeat this cartel" (12 January). The direct consequence of your preferred outcome to the Office of Fair Trading case would be contractual chaos followed by a BSkyB league of a dozen selected teams and the demise of the Football Association. You think there would be every opportunity then to redistribute broadcasting income?

The sport's governing bodies are exactly the right entities to negotiate broadcasting deals for the sport because individual clubs have no product to sell except their team shirts and mugs. The "product" is football matches in the context of league and cup competitions, in the context of promotions, relegations and trophies.

Individual teams' popularity would not survive long out of this context; they would quickly go the way of the Harlem Globetrotters. If you are worried about the dominance of rich clubs, you should perhaps ask Manchester United fans what they care about most - the fact that they are the richest club in the country, or the fact that their trophy cabinet is bare.


Burton-in-Kendal, Cumbria.