Great Britain

Premier League should sell Cup rights as inept FA continue to ruin competition, insists Rupert Lowe

THE FA CUP is being ruined because English football’s governing body are inept at negotiating TV deals.

That is the view of former Southampton chairman Rupert Lowe.

He was on the Football Association’s board — and the FA Cup committee.

Lowe believes they should get the Premier League to sell the overseas broadcasting rights instead.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp came under fire for fielding an Under-23s side in the fourth-round replay with Shrewsbury last night — with the senior squad enjoying a winter break.

And Lowe said: “I agree with Jurgen’s views.

If the competition was better marketed, people would be inclined to play their better players because it’ll be a better competition.

'CONFLICT OF INTERESTS'

“When I was on the FA board, I wrote a paper on TV rights because I felt they weren’t as good at marketing their rights as the Premier League.

“There were all sorts of clashes in terms of the fixture calendar.

“The FA should be a regulatory body, not one for marketing. It ends up having a conflict of interests.”

Lowe explained: “My logic was, a lot of the money from rights and profits goes to grass roots.

“I figured if the FA could increase its income by selling TV rights more efficiently and using the Premier League to sell them, there would be more money going into not only the pro game but grass roots. Everyone would be a winner.”

Lowe, who until last week was a Brexit Party MEP, added: “Like the EU, the FA needs to reform itself.

“But it’s like punching a sponge. Unless you have got huge power, you get hunted down by the committee men and you end up with an arrow in your back.”

Lowe could not believe the FA even thought of selling Wembley to Fulham owner Shahid Khan for £500million.

As Saints chief he oversaw the building of St Mary’s on budget and on time. It cost £1,000 per seat — Wembley was £25,000 a seat!


He said: “Wembley is a national asset and should be owned by the FA. Once it’s sold and the money brought in has been spent, it’s never coming back.

“The FA embodies all the worst elements of committee rule.

"The guy with the lowest intellect manages to manipulate the committee and most committee action ends up in failure.”

FA Cup 5th round draw: Man United face Southampton/Spurs while Chelsea at home to Shrewsbury/Liverpool

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