French radio stations have vowed to boycott the Manchester United v Marseille Champions League clash next month over the “exorbitant” transmission fees being demanded by the English Premier League giants. Radio France chief of sport Jacques Vendroux said United had demanded 26,000 euros from each French radio station wishing to cover the second leg of their last 16 clash at Old Trafford. He told AFP that the demand was the “most exorbitant sum” he had ever heard of, was all the more bizarre because English radio stations were able to cover the first leg in Marseille on Wednesday for free when the sides played out a scoreless draw. As a result, he said Radio France and its two sister stations France Info and Radio Bleu Provence, would be joined by RTL, Europe 1 and RMC in boycotting the match on March 15.
“Two weeks ago Manchester United asked us for 26,000 euros in transmission rights for each radio station while the English stations got to work for free during the first leg in Marseille on Wednesday” Vendroux said “Now, we have all agreed that we will not cover the match” He added “It’s the most exorbitant sum I’ve ever heard being asked for a football match since the start of the Champions League.”
“It’s totally unheard of. We won’t be part of this racketeering”. Vendroux said he had “personally” informed UEFA chief Michel Platini, adding “Platini told me he would be looking into it and would inform the relevant service.”
UEFA stated that each club was at liberty to allow “two radio stations free access on the night of Champions League matches, with a fee of around 1000 euros for technical purposes”. European football’s ruling body added, however “For all other radio stations, the host club is at liberty to exploit its rights as it likes.”
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