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Premier League stand firm over rights auction

The Premier League is confident its sale of domestic TV rights for the 2016-19 seasons will go ahead next month despite Virgin Media asking broadcast regulator Ofcom to delay the auction.

The sale is due to be completed in early February but Virgin Media wants the outcome delayed until Ofcom has finished its investigation into the complaint lodged by the media company last year.

Ofcom, which could itself have instituted measures to halt the auction two months ago but chose not to, said it would make a decision within days.

The Premier League made Ofcom aware almost two months ago that its next UK live broadcast rights auction process would be taking place in February 2015.

A self-serving media release from Virgin Media should have no bearing on the sale of the Premier League's rights.

Given the global interest in our rights it is essential that we give successful bidders ample time to put plans in place to utilise fully the rights they acquire.

Moreover, the League's sales process will be conducted fully in compliance with competition law and there is no legal basis whatsoever for any interference with the sales process or the legitimate operation of the market.

– Premier League statement.

The auction is expected reach even higher than than the current £3.018billion deal and will include Friday night games.


Ian Wright accuses QPR manager Redknapp of lying

Ian Wright has accused QPR manager Harry Redknapp of lying about why his son Shaun Wright-Phillips hasn't left the club on loan this season.

Redknapp suggested that Wright-Phillips, who hasn't featured in any of QPR's Premier League games this season, has refused to join another club on loan because he doesn't want to earn less money.

"We offered him opportunities to go out on loan to Blackburn, Bolton and Charlton," Redknapp said, "but he's got a great contract here... it's very difficult to get that sort of money elsewhere. You can't blame the boy."

Former Arsenal striker Wright correctly pointed out that players earn the same wages when they move out on loan, describing Redknapp's comments as "ridiculous."

QPR midfielder Sandro ruled out until after Christmas

Tough tackling Sandro has suffered yet another injury. Credit: PA

QPR midfielder Sandro has been ruled out until after Christmas with the knee injury he sustained at Newcastle on Saturday.

Peter Florida, QPR's Head of Medical services, said: "He has suffered damage to his medial ligaments. It is totally unrelated to his previous ACL injury."

“Unfortunately, he will now be unavailable for selection until after Christmas.”

Sandro has only completed 90 minutes twice for QPR since joining from Spurs for £10m during the summer transfer window.


Premier League confident over Ofcom investigation

The Premier League insists they abide by EU and UK competition law following news that Ofcom will launch an investigation into how their TV rights are sold.

A Premier League statement said: "We note that Ofcom has launched an inquiry.

"Ofcom has stated that this is at an early stage and it has not reached a view as to whether there is sufficient evidence of any infringement.

"The Premier League currently sells its audio-visual rights in a way that is compatible with UK and EU competition law and will continue to do so. We will be able to demonstrate that as part of this process."

French club travels 10,670 miles for domestic cup game

The 700 mile round trip between Newcastle and Swansea is the Premier League's biggest Credit: PA

Supporters of Trélissac, a club in the French fourth division, were forced to travel 10,670 miles to see their team play in the French Cup on Saturday.

The 21,340 mile round trip brought them 750 miles east of Australia to the French overseas state of New Caledonia.

Overseas French territories such as Mayotte, French Polynesia and New Caledonia are permitted to enter one team into the 7th round of the French Cup, decided by a knockout competition in their respective territories.

AS Magenta, who topped New Caledonia'a top division last season, were convincingly beaten 3-0 by fourth division Trélissac on Saturday.

The journey for Trélissac's supporters was more than 30 times greater than the longest trip for fans in England's Premier League, which involves Newcastle and Swansea.

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