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Fergie is the Beeb's new best friend, thinks TV companies have too much power

The Manchester United boss feels that Sky and ESPN are “God” when it comes to the Premier League schedule.

Image: JON SUPER/AP/Press Association Images

ALEX FERGUSON HAS lashed out at television companies for meddling with football, claiming that their money has bought them disproportionate influence in the modern game.

In his first sit-down interview since ending his stand-off with the BBC, the Manchester United boss claimed that the Premier League had shaken hands with the devil and that England’s top clubs were now paying the price.

Ferguson’s outburst focused on fixtures which are staggered to accommodate TV audiences, a trend which he claims is having an adverse effect on United and the other English clubs involved in European football.

“When you shake hands with the devil you have to pay the price,” Ferguson said. ”Television is God at the moment. It is king.”

When you see the fixture lists come out now, [the television companies] can pick and choose whenever they want the top teams on television.

You get some ridiculous situations when you’re playing on Wednesday night in Europe and then at lunchtime the following Saturday. You ask any manager if they would pick that themselves… there’d be no chance.

BSKyB and ESPN currently pay £1.78bn for the rights to show 138 live games per season, according to the BBC. The rights deal is up for renewal at the end of the 2012/2013 season.

Watch Ferguson’s interview with the BBC here >

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Niall Kelly

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