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Opposition To Liverpool Director Ayre’s TV Plan Continues To Grow

Wigan chairrman David Whelan has attacked Liverpool’s demand for more TV cash, saying that such a move would kill the heart and soul of football.

Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre said yesterday the bigger clubs in the Premier League should get a greater share of the £1.4billion overseas TV cash, instead of the current arrangement where the revenue is shared equally between all 20 clubs.

Ayre’s comments have not gone over well with Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea are believed to be against a change in how the TV revenue is spli.

Wigan chairman Dave Whelan reacted with outrage to Ayre’s suggestion saying:

“I have just read his [Ayre’s] comments and I find them diabolical – I just can’t believe what he has been saying. They are thinking ‘how can we get more money?’ You won’t get more money by killing the heart and soul of the Premier League and killing the heart and soul of football in England. We invented the game and we have still got the finest league in the whole world and some of the finest supporters in the whole world and they want to rip the whole thing up.” Whelan added: “The worst thing for English football is for teams like Liverpool – the top four let’s say – who want to get rid of virtually half the Premier League. We will finish up like the Spanish league with just two teams in it, no competition, no anything, no heart and soul in the league. What we have is the finest league in the whole world and what Liverpool are calling for would absolutely wreck it. The likes of Wigan, Bolton, Blackburn, Wolves, Sunderland and Newcastle couldn’t compete.”

Manchester City chief communications office Vicky Kloss said:

“The subject has never been up for debate either inside the club or externally. We are well aware of the benefits of the collective selling of Premier League television rights.”

United have always been a supporter of collective selling and chief executive David Gill told a Parliamentary committee earlier this year:

“The collective selling of the television rights has clearly been a success and it has made things more competitive.”