For other companies hoping to enter the crazy world of football
finance, the Competition Commission’s (nee Mergers and Monopolies
Commission) decision to reject BSkyB’s bid for Manchester United was not
entirely unexpected. However the referral of telecoms and cable company
NTL’s bid for Newcastle United surprised many watchers.
Opposition was led by those who claimed the BSkyB decision was a nail in
the coffin of other media bids. ’The Government should appoint a
regulator to protect clubs’ was the view of fans’ organisation IMUSA.
NTL and other media companies such as Carlton found allies in City
analysts, other major football clubs and Tory spokesman John Redwood who
called the decision ’half-baked’.
Nigel Hawkins, analyst at Williams de Broe, said any successful bid
would raise ’howls of protest’ from BSkyB but Tony Fraher of Singer and
Friedlander’s Football Fund said rejection would be ’seriously bad news
for the ownership of English football clubs’.
Evaluation and analysis by CARMA International. Cuttings supplied by the
Broadcast Monitoring Company. ’What The Papers Say’ can be found at: