Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepgaelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: Sport: Football
Front Page 
World 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Sport 
Football 
Rugby World Cup 
Rugby League 
Rugby Union 
Cricket 
Formula 1 
Tennis 
Golf 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
Audio/Video 
Thursday, 18 November, 1999, 23:39 GMT
League to rule on Sky shares
Old Trafford hosted the club's AGM after a successful season

The Premier League is to rule on whether BSkyB can keep its 11.2% share in Manchester United.

The European champions are in breach of league rules because the media company also owns 9.9% of shares in rivals Leeds United.

League rules state companies can only own more than 10% of one club while also owning a stake in another with the permission of the league's board.

The rule was brought in to ensure clubs competing in the same competition are not given "team orders" by a joint shareholder who may favour one side winning over the other.

'No undue influence'

At Manchester United's annual general meeting, the club's finance director, David Gill, said he had written to the league seeking the all-clear for BSkyB's shareholding.

He said: "We feel that Sky should maintain their holding.

"We do not believe that they are able to exert undue influence on the club, but if the league say they must divest their shares, then that is what will happen.

"We do not see a problem with their roles in other clubs."

Manchester United chief executive Martin Edwards said the fact Uefa would not bar Leeds and United appearing in the same European competion showed there was no concern over BSkyB's influence on the clubs.

He said: "As for this country and the FA Cup, you mustn't forget that Tranmere and Everton have Peter Johnson as their major shareholder and they have both been allowed to compete side by side in the competition."

An attempt by BSkyB earlier this year to buy a controlling interest in Manchester United was blocked by the government on competition grounds, as it feared giving the satellite company too much power in negotiating television rights to preiership football.

BSkyB also recently bought a minority share in Manchester United's local rivals Manchester City.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE

See also:
05 Nov 99 |  The Company File
BSkyB buys into Man City
05 Oct 99 |  The Company File
BSkyB-Leeds United deal approved
13 Jul 99 |  The Economy
Broadcasters battle for football

Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites
Links to other Football stories are at the foot of the page.