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Friday, 7 June, 2002, 01:42 GMT 02:42 UK
League savages ITV Digital owners
Football League chairman and chief executive Keith Harris and David Burns
Football League is unhappy over ITV Digital's collapse
The Football League chairman Keith Harris has launched a scathing attack on Carlton Communications and Granada over the collapse of ITV Digital.

The league has been trying to recoup almost 180m pounds owed to it for its television rights, which became worthless when ITV Digital went out of business last month.


We will also not rest until the pressure for new and responsible directors to replace Mr Green and Mr Allen becomes irresistible

Football League chairman Keith Harris

ITV Digital was a joint venture between the two companies.

In a speech delivered to the Football League chairmen, Harris singled out the chairmen of the two companies - Michael Green and Charles Allen - for particular criticism.

"Mr Green and Mr Allen have put many of our clubs at risk," said Harris.

"They have alarmed their own staff, all football administrators, managers, players and fans alike.

"They have embarrassed government. They have damaged the reputation of public service broadcasting.

"They have undermined the basis on which business is decently done in this country."

Harris also questioned whether Green and Allen should still hold positions of power in the two companies.

"How can you lose 1.2bn and still be entitled to keep highly paid jobs?

"In over a quarter of a century in business I have never witnessed such behaviour.

"I believe that what Mr Green and Mr Allen have orchestrated is quite plainly degrading.

"Degrading to the media industry, degrading to the whole business community and degrading to this country.

"And I give you this assurance.

"We will not rest until these companies recognise and face up to their responsibilities.

"We will also not rest until the pressure for new and responsible directors to replace Mr Green and Mr Allen becomes irresistible."


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