Whelan says Liverpool’s bid to sell TV rights would devastate the EPL

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WIGAN ATHLETIC chairman Dave Whelan has hit out at Liverpool’s calls for clubs to sell their own television rights by insisting such a move “would kill off half the Premier League”.

Reds managing director Ian Ayre said this week the club was prepared to lead a challenge for Barclays Premier League clubs to sell overseas rights individually.

The league’s broadcast rights outside of the United Kingdom are presently sold in a joint package, which is worth £3.2 billion for 2010-13 to be shared equally among the 20 clubs.

But Ayre claims the system is unfair on the higher-profile clubs, arguing they attract more viewers and more subscriptions, and advocated the adoption of the Spanish model whereby individual clubs have the freedom to negotiate their own packages.

Whelan, though, slammed the “scandalous” proposal.

The Latics chairman is quoted by several newspapers as saying: “It is absolutely scandalous. It is the ‘American Dream’, this. They are thinking ‘How can we get more money’? But you won’t get more money by killing the heart and soul of the Premier League and of football in England.

“It would kill Wigan Athletic. It would kill Blackburn Rovers. It would kill off half the Premier League.”