ENGLAND ON FREE TO AIR – FOOTY BOOTS OPINION

The FACan anyone believe this rot that’s all over the papers and media about the highlights of England’s game versus Croatia not being available on free to air television.

Politicians have jumped on the band wagon, as they always do, to have a moan, pundits have given it their two penneth worth whilst the FA have hidden behind the old chestnut that ‘foreign FA’s control who they sell their rights to’.

Well, the latter is true but only up to a point.

Having climbed in to bed with ITV and Setanta, the FA could have made it part of the deal that should Setanta pick up any overseas rights in the future, they sell them on to ITV for a fair price. Not the £1 million they’ve been trying for. And for the record, highlights for big England matches in the past have been valued at around £150,000 – £200,000.



And it’s extraordinary that the BBC is coming in for a bunch of stick too. They made a bid for the FA’s rights and lost. Why on earth should they spend more of our money and bale them out now?

The truth of the matter is that we, the fans, come very low on the FA’s list of priorities. They took the Setanta / ITV dollar and, at the same time, had a perfect opportunity to protect games of this magnitude by insisting on a separate terrestrial highlights package. Instead, they chose to do nothing.

I wonder if the FA big wigs, not in Croatia, will be watching the match down the local, round a friends house or maybe even stuck at home watching Hells Kitchen USA on ITV 2? No, didn’t think so.



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