A PUB landlord says he has been cynically fouled by Sky TV and is giving them the red card for the second year running.
Phil Bradshaw, of the White Lion in Hope, said he was shocked when Sky sent him a letter urging him to purchase Premiership Plus, the premium package that shows extra top-flight football to subscribers.
The letter said he would have to pay £800 for the channel, which shows 50 extra games over the season.
Last season, when he also refused to have Premiership Plus, it cost £400 for 40 games.
'The worst of it is I am at the bottom end of the market.' said Phil.
'Other pubs that want it have to pay more. During the first year of Premiership Plus it was £100, the next it was £200. Last year was £400 and now this.
'Sky have tried to justify it by saying they have introduced a banding structure. They sort pubs into bands and some pay more than others.
'The White Lion is in Band A-D which costs £800. The next band costs £1,400, the next £1,600 and the final band £1,800.
'If I pay for this I will make a huge loss and I know a lot of other people who will, too. We are a small community pub. We can't get enough people through the door to break even at these prices. Only games involving Liverpool, Everton, Manchester United or perhaps Manchester City are big draws - people only have so much money to spend.'
He added: 'I asked Sky if they would consider regionalising their coverage so we only pay for games involving those teams and they said it had not crossed their minds.
'Then there is the small profits we make from the beer itself. Once we have bought the beer the price it's sold for doesn't leave us with much. We simply can't cover it.
'Why do 10 extra games cost £400? And why do the same 10 games cost £1,400 more for some pubs?
'It's a crazy state of affairs geared towards national pub chains. I will definitely not have Premiership Plus this year. All these costs are on top of the pub's standard £254 Sky subscription.
'Unfortunately it will impact on the community. The elderly, and Hope has a lot, often come to watch the games as they can't afford Sky themselves. Well, now I can't either.'
But Sky Sports spokesman Rob Fraser claims the package is still good value.
'Prem Plus provides 50 extra games per season, 10 more than last year, and on top of that our regular Sky Sports service will raise the number of games it shows from 66 to 88.
'In total landlords have the opportunity to show 138 games a season if they want to.
'Our subscription base includes large and small pubs and clubs and we feel they are getting a premium service at a fair cost.
'We are constantly investing in and improving our service and feel our new banded price structure is reasonable enough. Plenty of pubs remain signed up to Prem Plus, which proves its popularity.'