Apr 8 2002, 08:54 PM
Dec 22 2001
TV company ITV Digital's cash could run out by the end of this week, administrators have warned.
Administrators running the stricken TV channel say funds will come to a stop unless the League renegotiates its contract with the station, whose majority shareholders are Carlton and Granada.
The League has already threatened to sue the media giants for £500million unless they pay one part of the £179m still owed on the deal and enter talks over the remainder of the money.
Officials have warned that clubs could go bankrupt unless the deal - which entitled ITV Digital to show Nationwide League and Worthington Cup football - is honoured.
Speculation suggests that a number of clubs in divisions one, two and three would have to go into administration if the deal fails.
At a High Court hearing today (Monday), documents released showed that Carlton and Granada's £20m cash injection for ITV Digital will run out inside four days.
Michael Crystal QC, for Deloitte and Touche, said: 'The funding available is £20m - and that funding will come to an end, at the latest, on Friday.'
Now the League has called on Carlton and Granada to enter negotiations in a bid to hammer out an agreement.
Officials are infuriated with the lack of progress made following talks with administrator Nick Dargan last week.
Spokesman John Nagle said: 'Until the Football League, Carlton and Granada get round the table, this issue cannot be resolved.
'We spoke to the administrator last week and told him that, if the issue is to be resolved, we need a meeting with Carlton and Granada to thrash out a deal.
'But we're still waiting for them to get in contact and prove they really want to settle this dispute. If they pick up the phone and call us, we will gladly meet with them as soon as possible.'
And League chief executive David Burns added: 'They have used administration to put leverage on the Football League - and it will not work.
'We all now know that the £178.5million owed represents less than ten per cent of the recent £2billion rise in the value of these companies due to ITV Digital being placed into administration.'