Sunday, 10 February 2008

Premier League - You're Having A Laugh

So the latest money making idea from the Premier League Money Machine (PLMM) is that all 20 clubs should play 1 extra fixture overseas every season. Not an exhibition match but an extra competitive league fixture. Ever since the football league first started in 1888 clubs have played an equal number of games, playing each other once each home and away. Now, purely in the interest of making money this will all be thrown out of the window, with everyone playing each other twice PLUS 1 random extra game. So no longer will it be a truly equal league.

Whose interest can this be in ? The money men of course, no-one elses. All 20 clubs will earn the same from this venture so all it means is they are in no different a position (relative to each other) than they would be if it didn't take place. Their can only be one reason for it, the PLMM makes millions from tv deals abroad, they must be hoping that the hope (or threat) of being able to see the leagues teams in the flesh once in a blue moon can only make more viewers want to pay even more to watch on tv. Arsene Wenger commented that only 10% of Arsenal's fans are domestic, 90% are global and it would be good for them to have the chance to watch them play. Sorry Arsene, do the maths, if what you claim is true then (assuming Arsenal have twice as many domestic fans as actually attend games, probably a conservative estimate) then to keep those other 90% happy they are going to need to play in a stadium with a capacity of around a million. In fact double that, their opponents will need room for their fans too.

This is yet another step from the PLMM that is treating grass roots fans with contempt. Already around half the PLMM matches are played in grounds with acres of empty seats, as more and more fans get fed up with being treated as custmomers, and not - as many fans believe themselves to be - a part of their club. I have said for many years that the football bubble, if not bursting, is certainly being severely stretched. Could this latest idea cause the final "pop"?

I think the PLMM and the tv people have forgotten one very important element of the game of football. Yes, the PLMM is popular the world over for it's exciting competitive football. But try watching 10 minutes of any game - it could be technically the best game ever played - on tv with the sound turned off, and I think you'll agree it's as boring as shit. It is the crowd atmosphere that creates the tension and excitement. (It's no surprise County Cricket played in front of a few dozing spectators rarely makes our tv screens) If fans become more and more disillusioned and stay away in ever increasing numbers the PLMM and the TV companies will suddenly find they have a worthless product that nobody wants to watch.

One consolation - Saints look more likely to be heading to League 1 than the PL at the moment, at least we won't have to be a part of it.

1 comment:

  1. Well said that man. As you see from my own blog rant, I entirely agree.


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