The deal will see SkySports pay £95m to screen live matches from the Nationwide Football League and Worthington Cup from August 2002.
In a four-year contract lasting until 2006, over 300 games will be screened live on the SkySports channels including promotion relegation matches and the LDV Vans final.
Football League chief Executive David Burns, described the deal as ‘great news’ and said it would provide ‘financial stability to clubs at a very important time’, while Vic Wakeling, managing director of Sky Sports said he hoped the deal allow clubs to plan for the future.
Many Nationwide clubs were left reeling, after the collapse of ITV Digital, which folded, owing the Football League £178.2m.
This left them facing high wage bills for players and the threat of complete financial failure – something that has already become a reality with a number of clubs. Administrators have already stepped in at Bradford FC, Notts County and at Bury FC.
The super creditor rule, which means clubs must pay football creditors before anyone else, has also hindered the restructuring of clubs.
Steve Absolom and Will Wright from KPMG Restructuring have been appointed joint administrators to City Motor Holdings and associated companies
Partners from Johnston Carmichael have been appointed as joint administrators to Axon Well Interventions Products UK
Begbies Traynor have been appointed administrators of William Anelay Ltd, York, one of Britain’s longest-established construction and heritage restoration companies
Smith & Williamson has been appointed administrators of charity 4Children