Deathwatch - Setanta set to fold & you're invited to buy NUFC
"We are gathered here today to mourn the passing of a dear and loyal friend. Actually ,scratch that. We're here to have a bit of a knees up and jump all over the grave of Setanta, winner of Bitterwallet’s Worst Company UK award. Sorry if you lost your job and all that. Here, have a can of Skol and a mushroom vol-au-vent."
And so the scene is set for us to wave farewell to Setanta. According to a BBC report, the company is losing £100 million a year and will slide into administration "within days" unless somebody fancies squaring the £30 million it owes the Premier League. That's on top of the £3 million payment it missed to the Scottish Premier League last week. Crivens.
According to one analyst, Setanta has only attracted 60 per cent of the subscribers it needed to continue as a viable business, and an investor with pockets as deep as Sartre is now needed to stump up the cash. If Setanta does fold, it'd mean the rights for future football seasons would be up for grabs - Sky seems the obvious choice although yankee doodles ESPN are also thought to be in the running.
But why spend £100 million on showing the games when you could buy a team? Newcastle United is up for sale for a paltry £100 million. However, NUFC owner Mike Ashley has taken the unusual and, some would say, idiotic step of publically inviting interested parties to email the club. It's given Sunderland fans the sort of opportunity they'd have to sexually satisfy a genie to enjoy again.
Expect Newcastle United's mail server to collapse under a heap of offers to buy the club for a quid, a turd in a bag, a pint of warm piss etc, and for the message to disappear from the official site shortly. You've got to hand it to Ashley - it'd take a staggering effort to make a once-proud institution like NUFC look like an even bigger prize dick than it already did. Yet somehow, he's managed it again. Cheers.
EDIT: As of Tuesday afternoon, Setanta has disabled its online and telephone subscription services, meaning that anyone foolhardy enough to become a new customer with them can go and swivel. End game.