Rule change enforces post-match interviews

The days of Sir Alex Ferguson, the Manchester United manager, refusing to speak to the BBC look set to end, with the Premier League planning to implement rules from the start of next season preventing managers from opting out of post-match interviews.

The new rule, Q17, says: “With effect from season 2010-11 all managers are required to attend in person and participate in post-match interviews held by or for the benefit of a UK broadcaster or radio broadcaster and failure to do so without just cause shall be a breach of these rules.”

Sir Alex has boycotted the BBC, a Premier League rights-holder, since 2004 following a Panorama investigation into football agents that explored the relationship between Manchester United and one of his sons. The Tottenham manager, Harry Redknapp, and the Blackburn manager, Sam Allardyce, have also refused to talk to the BBC following similar investigations.

The Premier League has also announced plans to launch its own global television channel from next season. The intention is that the channel will not be available in Britain, will be produced by the Premier League’s own production company and will feature news, studio discussions, individual programmes and classic matches, and will broadcast seven days a week, 24 hours a day.

It means the Premier League will be in a position to go it alone in the next domestic rights negotiations if the television networks fail to match the £3 billion-plus value at home and abroad of the three-year agreements starting next season.

The FA is adopting the same strategy with their website screening of FA Cup matches.

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