Setanta collapse leaves FA shortfall

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Football News

The Football Association will have to auction off the rights to FA Cup and England matches to cover a £100million gap in their finances after Setanta went into administration on Tuesday.

Setanta's long-expected collapse was finally confirmed, and more than 200 people will be made redundant.

The Premier League on Monday announced ESPN as Setanta's replacement for their live games, and the FA will now have to go through the same process.

Setanta were one year into a £150million four-year deal for the rights to FA Cup matches, England games and the Community Shield - and it is understood only £50million of this had been paid.

The FA have been adamant they will still be able to attract significant bids to limit serious damage to funding for grass-roots football.

Nevertheless, there was major unhappiness at Soho Square after the Premier League last week refused to allow Setanta any more time to secure a rescue package and pulled the plug on their rights to live matches for next season and 2010-13.

Deloitte have been appointed as administrators, and Setanta will soon cease to broadcast to the UK.

It is understood ITV will gain the rights for up to eight England away friendlies at a previously-agreed price, but all of Setanta's other rights will be up for grabs.

Neville Kahn, one of the joint administrators, said: "After a huge effort by the Setanta board, management team and its backers, it has not been possible to save the GB business - which will be wound down in due course."

Setanta had 1.2million subscribers and also had broadcast deals with the Scottish Premier League, the Blue Square Conference, cricket's Indian Premier League and golf's US PGA tour.

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

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