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Arsenal boss takes swipe at TV ahead of Swansea game

Football News 24/7
Arsenal face Swansea in a live Sunday game at the Liberty stadium - a fixture that prompted an unexpected outburst from the Gunners boss. Arsene Wenger claimed in his pre match press conference that football has 'sold its soul' to television, and maintains the Barclays Premier League has failed to take a strong enough stance against the broadcasters' demands over fixture changes.

He said the governing body must do more to limit the impact those changes have on clubs throughout the league - with the recent drawn out festive fixtures a case in point.

'We have sold our soul and we do not control our fixtures any more,' said Wenger, 'It is the truth and I cannot say the television is wrong, but it is not normal that you can have a direct influence on the schedule through the television.

'The Premier League has to make sure there is a bit more fairness in the schedules.

'I don't believe in the last month or the last year, the Premier League has played a very fair role in the distribution of the fixtures.'

Wenger maintains the demands of the viewing schedules - which now span from a Friday night to Monday evening slots - can have a direct influence on games.

He continued: 'Television is influenced by some clubs to choose the fixtures. Some clubs get advantaged by television.

'Is it Sky or is it ESPN? They have an influence there from the clubs directly and the Premier League should be a much bigger barrier than they are in front of that.

'I do not want to go personal on any club. I just think, when things are repeated, they are not a coincidence any more.

'In England, it is always very difficult to say what you feel about that but, I am not the only manager who thinks that and I think there is a real problem.'

Live domestic rights to top-flight English games for 2010-13 raised a total of £1.782bn, while overseas income from 212 countries amounted to £1.4bn, a major increase on previous deals. It is the money from TV that has made the Premier League in its current format sustainable and whilst it might not suit the manager you don't hear many chairman bemoaning the monies they receive from the TV companies.

Sponsors meanwhile want their team to be on TV as often as possible that's what they pay for. It seems it is an argument Wenger is bound to lose.

JB
 

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