Sunday 12 April 1992
Referee: Mr G Courtney
Throughout the 1991 1992 season the future of the game in England was shrouded in uncertainty as the Football League and the Football Association were locked in a battle for power. The root of the matter was, of course, money. Satellite TV wanted live football to lure subscribers to the new technology and it was prepared to pay big sums for exclusive access to the action. The leading First Division clubs wanted to keep most of the cash for themselves and their hard-headed logic was faultless: the big teams generated most of the money, therefore they should get most of it The Football League, representing all 92 professional clubs, wanted the proceeds to be shared out more equally across the divisions. That prompted the best-supported sides to threaten a breakaway, which would have meant they could collar every penny the television companies were prepared to pay. In the end the traditional League system of English football was preserved -but compromise came at a huge cost for the lower league clubs. The FA Premier League was formed in time for the start of the 1992/93 season and the top flight teams began to bank television revenues wastly in excess of anything they had ever seen before. In May 1992 a deal was struck in which the BBC and Sky agreed to pay £300 million over Five years for highlights and live games. That was just the start, as television revenues continued to rocket and then went into orbit as the European Champions League took off.
United had geared up for football's brave new world by becoming a public limited company in the summer of 1991. The move brought benefits as well as drawbacks. Perhaps crucially, the initial injection of capital ensured that in the early days of the Premier League, the club would have the financial clout to compete for the best players available. Football had restructured itself in such a way that the most successful clubs would make the most money, giving them a head-start on the also-rans the following season. It was vitally important for ambitious clubs to climb aboard this gravy train at the start of the journey or they would be left standing at the station for a long time, perhaps forever. Failure in the early days would condemn lesser teams to a frustrating future of watching richer clubs contesting the big prizes, while they did their best to survive in the big league. The best most of them could hope for would be the occasional decent cup run and perhaps UEFA Cup qualification.
Codec H264, Mkv
Sound 128 kbps