League threatens ITV digital with legal action


The English Football League tonight shifted onto a war footing in the increasingly bitter dispute with ITV Digital, threatening legal action unless the broadcaster agrees to an ultimatum.

The League will launch proceedings against Carlton and Granada unless their ITV Digital company pay Stg£89.25million in August and agree to enter into discussions over the final instalment of Stg£89.25million, currently due in August 2003.

The beleaguered broadcaster - put into administration last week - is refusing to stump up the remaining Stg£179million owed for the final two seasons of their Stg£315million three-year deal to screen live games from Divisions One, Two and Three.

But the League will not allow the collapse of a contract which helps many hard-up clubs stave off bankruptcy.

A League statement revealed a legal suit - for up to Stg£500million including the remaining money, damages and costs - will follow if ITV Digital reject the ultimatum.