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Thursday, 11 April, 2002, 13:15 GMT 14:15 UK
TV row sparks jobs fear
Aberdeen v Motherwell
The SPL is currently without any television deals
Aberdeen chief executive Keith Wyness fears hundreds of jobs in Scottish football may be jeopardised as a result of lost television revenue.

With Celtic and Rangers deciding not to support the proposed independent SPL TV channel, a mood of uncertainty now surrounds the financial future of Scotland's top flight.

Wyness has condemned the Old Firm for endangering the livelihoods of everyone else involved in the league.

"This must not be allowed to become simply some kind of game or bluff," said Wyness.

"There are real people in real jobs who are very worried about what the future holds for them.

A lot of people depend on Scottish football for their livelihood - not just directly but also indirectly
Aberdeen chief executive Keith Wyness
"The removal of the prospect of SPL TV and the essential revenue it would undoubtedly have generated has a major impact on all Scottish clubs."

Wyness also accused the Old Firm of stifling Scottish football with the constant suggestions of a move away from the SPL.

"It must be said that the continued uncertainty and speculation created by the Old Firm's spoken and unspoken desire to play in another league makes it enormously difficult for the rest of Scottish football to get on with business," continued Wyness.

The Pittodrie chief went on to call for the other ten clubs to lobby local politicians to protect the employment of their constituents.

"Clubs had already begun the process of reducing costs but an unexpected reduction in revenue of this magnitude - coming as unexpectedly as this - means clubs will have to look again.

"This is an important issue. A lot of people depend on Scottish football for their livelihood - not just directly but also indirectly - and it is an issue we intend to raise through Scotland's politicians."

Aberdeen chief executive Keith Wyness
Meanwhile, Rangers chairman David Murray insists that the joint decision with Celtic to pull the plug on SPL TV was not a first step to jumping ship for England.

Murray said: "There is no plan X, no masterplan, no-one's going to run away to another league.

"There's no deal with Sky and we certainly haven't applied to join ITV Digital.

"But Rangers and Celtic are 80% of the media value of the SPL and we have to act in our best interests, not those of the other clubs.

"There was a downside to the channel and our biggest concern was we could have ended up with a liability, not a profitability.

"Some clubs have put two and two together and come up with 80, but media rights have dropped dramatically in value and we have to face reality."

Aberdeen chief Keith Wyness
"It's more than just bluff but time for us to make a stand"
See also:

16 Dec 00 |  Football
Euro league rejected
10 Jun 01 |  Scot Prem
Alchemy in the UK
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