Premier League - Papers: Liverpool, United's TV collusion
Thu, 13 Oct 09:03:00 2011
Liverpool have been attacked from all quarters in regard to their proposed individual television deal - but according to one paper, it wasn't quite the lone proclamation it was made out to be.
The Daily Telegraph claims that Liverpool held discussions with Manchester United about the idea of selling overseas television rights before the Reds' chief executive Ian Ayre raised the subject publicly this week.
After seeing the backlash to the idea, United have since distanced themselves from the plan but the Telegraph claims that talks between the two fierce rivals went right to the top with the Glazer family believed to have talked with John W Henry about the proposals.
The paper continues: "Sources have suggested that Liverpool believe they are not a lone voice among Premier League owners even after the lack of public support for Ayre’s comments.
"Despite their clubs’ rivalries, set to be renewed on Saturday at Anfield, the American owners at Manchester United and Liverpool are said to be close and to consult on a number of issues relating to their English football interests.
"The Glazers are acutely aware of the value of United’s brand around the world and television rights issue are the most valuable way of exploiting that value. For now they have made no formal move to challenge the collective model, but the very fact the issue has been discussed with Liverpool’s owners Fenway Sports Group, even in abstract terms, indicates that it is on their radar."
Most of the papers lead their sports coverage on Part 679 of the Carlos Tevez saga - you can catch Early Doors' take on that - but there are some intriguing bits of transfer gossip knocking around too.
Carlo Ancelotti bid £15 million for the Uruguayan last year before signing David Luiz instead and it would appear that Andre Villas-Boas is also a fan.
The deal could be partially financed by the sale of Alex which could interest Arsenal and Tottenham although Russian big-spenders Anzhi Makhachkala and Terek Grozny are both interested in the Brazilian centre-back too.
One player who could have signed for Chelsea but didn't was Bayern Munich star Thomas Muller, who has revealed he turned down the chance to move to Stamford Bridge after the World Cup.
"It's an honourable club and it's not something that's offered every day, but I didn't think it was reasonable to make that step at such a young age," Muller is quoted as saying in The Sun.
There is an interesting story in the Telegraph which says that West Ham are refusing to pay transfer fees for three players they have bought from overseas clubs because of a dispute with FIFA.
"The Championship club are furious that their claim for £1.5 million for the sale of Alessandro Diamanti to Brescia has still not been dealt with by world football’s governing body," explains the paper.
"It means that West Ham are now themselves the subject of a formal complaint to FIFA and the Football Association because they have withheld payment of €1 million (£875,000) for the defender Winston Reid."
With the exception of Reid, the identity of the other players involved in the issue has not been revealed.
QPR are weighing up a fresh move for Sebastien Bassong. The Tottenham defender almost moved to Loftus Road this summer. (The Sun)
Fulham manager Martin Jol is considering a move for Ajax striker Mounir El Hamdaoui, a player he has signed twice in the past, but he faces competition from Blackburn. (Daily Mail)
Finally, the Cottagers have also been told to decide whether they want to sign non-League striker Sam Wilson by January. The 17-year-old has impressed for Blue Square Bet South outfit Eastleigh this season, prompting Fulham to hand him a run-out in their academy side at the weekend. (Daily Mirror)
Swansea's rise to the top