BWFCST – Meeting With Paul Aldridge
Radio Manchester Home Game Coverage
On Monday 08 August 2016, our chair, Ian Bridge, was invited onto the BBC Radio Manchester’s Monday Football Hour programme as a studio guest. Also on the show was Kate Squire, Radio Manchester’s station manager and much of the programme revolved around the station’s coverage of local football. As most will know, Radio Manchester has been unable to agree a deal with BWFC to enable home games to be broadcast live during the ‘16/’17 season.
Kate outlined the BBC stance on the situation and the reasons for the failure to reach agreement with the club to broadcast home games. She identified that the BBC had made BWFC what they felt was a fair offer to cover the home games. The club think otherwise and that has resulted in no deal being reached for this season.
Request for Meeting
During the programme, Ian Bridge undertook to take the matter up with the club on behalf of the supporters and on Tuesday contact with the senior club management was requested.
As a result, on Tuesday 09 August ’16, Paul Aldridge met with Ian at the stadium.
Paul is currently acting in a consultancy role at the club and is reporting to the board on all areas of club business. He has been involved in the negotiations with the BBC and stated that the financial deal offered by the BBC did not meet with the club’s valuation for the live home coverage rights. He also advised that BWFC were looking for parity with other clubs of a similar size and fan base (Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday were cited by Paul as examples). Paul also confirmed that the club did have an agreement with another local commercial radio station for live coverage of home games and that the games were also available on the club’s subscription-based Wanderers Player facility.
Is There Any Way Forward?
As Kate Squire stated on air, the BBC have made what they consider to be a full and final offer to the club. Paul Aldridge restated the club’s opinion that they were not being offered a suitable sum. On that basis, it would appear that there is currently no room for negotiation. It must be stated at this point, that neither party is in a position to provide details of the sums involved to BWFCST.
However, Ian Bridge put the same question separately to both Kate and Paul and asked whether the BBC and BWFC would be open to further negotiations. Both answered that they would be prepared to discuss matters further and it would now appear that we need to keep the matter on the agenda. BWFCST will do this and attempt to assist in bringing both parties together again. We would ask all those with an opinion on this matter to make their views known by contacting us on firstname.lastname@example.org. Let us have your thoughts and we will make sure that both the BBC and BWFC are kept informed.
Watch this space……