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Page last updated at 12:15 GMT, Monday, 7 April 2008 13:15 UK

Leeds United defend radio policy

Leeds United

Leeds United chief executive Shaun Harvey has defended the club's decision not to renew their commentary deal with BBC Radio Leeds.

From next season BBC Radio Leeds will no longer be able to broadcast league matches, meaning fans cannot hear the games on a normal FM or AM radio.

"We do not feel Radio Leeds' offer valued the club correctly," Harvey told BBC Radio Leeds.

"We're in the top 10 clubs in the country, we want that to be reflected."

He added: "Putting us in a standard scale with League One, Championship clubs and Premier League clubs was never going to meet the club's aspirations."

The offer reflected more than inflation in the football rights business. We offered Leeds United a 50% increase

BBC Radio Leeds editor Phil Squire

Harvey came on BBC Radio Leeds' Football Hour show to answer questions regarding the deal, along with station editor Phil Squire and Leeds United commentator Adam Pope.

"Radio Leeds thought the offer made to Leeds United was a fair one. It reflected more than inflation in the football rights business," Squire said.

"We offered Leeds United a 50% increase. If you offer the average bloke in the street a 50% increase on his wages for not doing a lot more than last year, in terms of the league table, then we consider it a fair deal.

"We don't have a bottomless pit of money."

BBC Radio Leeds will broadcast exclusive FM commentary of Leeds United matches for the reminder of the current season with Adam Pope and Leeds legend Eddie Gray, but will only be able to provide reports from next year.

However, from next season the station will continue to be the independent voice for the club, while still bringing listeners pre-match build-up and post-match reaction, including a phone-in.

The BBC Station of the Year is also planning a new programme dedicated to Leeds United fans in midweek.

see also
Leeds fans' fury at dead BBC deal
17 Mar 08 |  Leeds United

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