sport

FA income takes a hit

The Football Association have revealed a large reduction in income from broadcast rights last season.

Figures in the FA's annual report show broadcast income was down 34million from the previous season, a result of the hangover from the collapsed Setanta deal back in 2009.

The FA was forced to agree a short-term two-year deal with ITV for England matches and the FA Cup ending in July this year, which contributed to the shortfall.

Overall income fell from 327m in 2011/12 to 299m in the 2012/13 period, but the FA still managed to report an operating profit of 28m while increasing the amount it puts back into football by 11m to 108m.

England not being involved in a major tournament last year also led to a 10m drop in revenue.

But this was offset by extra income from the new national football centre at St George's Park (15m) an added 7m from Wembley Stadium events including the 2013 Champions League final and the London 2012 Olympics.

The FA's annual report insisted that broadcasting income will increase in future seasons.

It read: "This reduction is partly offset by the additional international broadcasting revenues generated by the rights granted to nine broadcasters over the six-year period to July 2018.

"The domestic broadcasting rights for the four seasons from August 2014 to July 2018 were acquired by ITV for England friendly matches and by BBC and BT Sport for the FA Cup coverage.

"All of the Group's broadcasting rights are sold to July 2018 and domestic broadcasting revenues will increase from the 2014/15 season."

FA chairman Greg Dyke's England commission looking at ways to improve the chances for young English players is due to be published in May and he warned that "possible radical solutions" may be required.

Dyke stated: "Young English players are clearly important. The question is not only can we develop them but also whether we can make sure they get opportunities to play their club football at the highest level.

"This seems increasingly more difficult but there is a responsibility across the game to do all we can in this regard.

"If we are to have any chance of success going forward it is important that football as a whole recognises the problem and also buys into the possible radical solutions."