Deloitte on the touchline as Setanta heads for full-time

STRUGGLING sports broadcaster Setanta could be forced to go into administration this week, as discussions with investors and rights holders have failed to secure a rescue deal.<br /><br />Accountancy firm Deloitte is on standby to flip the switch on the Irish broadcaster, which has been struggling for months to raise new capital to enable it to meet rights payments for football matches and the US PGA golf tour. The company has also been desperately negotiating with rights holders to bring those costs down.<br /><br />But last night sources close to the talks said that not enough progress has been made to satisfy investors that Setanta&rsquo;s business model is workable. Another crisis meeting is expected to take place today.<br /><br />Setanta confirmed last week that it failed to meet a &pound;3m payment to the Scottish Premier League. The news cast doubts over future payments, including &pound;35m due to the Barclays Premier League next week, and over future payments towards a &pound;425m deal with the Football Association which sees Setanta share rights to England and FA Cup games with ITV. <br /><br />There was speculation that sports network ESPN would try to snap up Setanta&rsquo;s contracts, but an ESPN spokesman said this was a &ldquo;hypothetical situation and a question for Setanta and the rights holders.&rdquo;