Football

FA fear knock-on over Setanta deals

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The Football Association have admitted that the Premier League's termination of Setanta's contract will have a knock-on effect on their own deal with the stricken Irish broadcaster.

The FA had come to a new agreement with Setanta this week - but that depended on the Premier League doing the same. Friday night's decision to terminate the deal for 46 live Premier League games next season now threatens Setanta's future including its coverage of FA Cup and England games,

"We are understandably very disappointed with the news that Setanta and the FAPL were unable to reach agreement," FA chief executive Ian Watmore said.

"We have worked well with Setanta's management and potential new investors in the last week, and had reached a solution in principle that would have allowed them to meet their contractual requirements with the FA and strengthen our strategic partnership.

"However, they made it clear throughout that this was dependent on reaching agreement with the FAPL.

"We now await developments, but remain confident of the attractiveness of our broadcast rights going forward."

The Premier League cut off the Irish broadcaster's main football lifeline after the failure to pull off a last-gasp rescue package led to Setanta defaulting on the balance of a £30million payment.

Those 46 games will now be auctioned off, with Sky favourites to win half of them and ESPN the other 23 when the bidding closes on Monday.

As for Setanta, the disaster which has been looming for several weeks finally struck after efforts to woo US tycoon Len Blavatnik's Access Industries ended in failure - due to a lack of time and concerns over a £50million tax bill due to be paid by the broadcaster.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Premier League
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