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 indicated that the demand, 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.
Chelsea’s home game against Manchester United originally set down for December 18 last year was snowed off. It was then rescheduled for March 1 BUT that may need to be postponed again until May depending on results in the FA Cup. That’s five full months after its original date, five months in which a suitable date could not be found. Yet Wednesday February 9 would have been perfectly acceptable for all concerned EXCEPT that England was set down to play a game in Denmark which is nothing more than a friendly, exhibition, training match, call it what you will, but certainly a totally meaningless one. WHY?
Watching the thumping Barcelona inflicted on Real Madrid at the Camp Nou in the Classico last night, my mind could not help wandering what major football clubs – including Manchester United, has in store for their fans in the next 10 or 20 years. A world wide audience of half a billion viewers – read that slowly, yes, 500 million, was estimated to have watched that game on television, internet, mobile phones and whatever else modern technology can provide. Ask yourself, what else will that same technology be able to offer us in the next decade or two?