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Page last updated at 17:02 GMT, Tuesday, 9 June 2009 18:02 UK

Conference fears Setanta collapse

Blue Square Premier

Football Conference director Phil Ledger is concerned clubs could be dealt a serious financial blow if Setanta goes into administration.

The Conference leagues are two years into a five-year deal worth £2.5m with the troubled broadcaster.

Blue Square Premier sides receive a minimum of £70,000 a year and clubs in the North and South take £15,000 each.

Ledger told BBC Sussex and BBC Surrey: "I think it will affect people a hell of a lot. £70,000 is a lot of money."

The Woking club secretary added: "It doesn't come through the gate for a lot of clubs, and the money can be a lifeline."

Rushden and Diamonds manager Justin Edinburgh says his budget at Nene Park is likely to be affected if the sports broadcaster goes out of business.

"It's going to affect the whole league and maybe the bigger clubs as much as the lesser ones." Edinburgh told BBC Radio Northampton.

"Until we get the full details we don't know just how much it will affect us."

Setanta is reported to be desperate for backers to step in and provide it with funds to bridge the £30m debt it owes to the English Premier League.

The broadcaster has already failed to pay £3m that it owes to the Scottish Premier League and is believed to be losing £100m a year according to analysts.

It also has the television rights to golf, cricket and rugby union competitions and while a rival broadcaster could buy up the rights to Setanta's Premier League portfolio, the future of broadcasting, and funding for, its non-league games is unclear.

It is a situation that Ledger finds uncomfortable.

"Clubs might have had advice not to budget for that money, but I'm sure some clubs think well there is £70,000 guaranteed.

"Also on top of this people do get £8,000 for a home game and £3,000 for an away game, and it's another couple of players for your squad".



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