NOTE, BOBBYSIX HAS MOVED. PLEASE VISIT OUR NEW SITE INSTEAD, WHERE YOU WILL FIND SO MUCH AWESOME CONTENT THAT YOUR EYES WON'T KNOW WHERE TO LOOK FIRST: SOMETHINGYOUSAID.COM

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Narcissism and Greed: the Premier League's plan to go global

In this week's Argus column, I couldn't resist venting my anger at the latest money-making scheme by the powers that be in English football:I have been a lover of the beautiful game all my life, yet because I currently live in Australia, every weekend at the moment is a weekend free from live English football; although this might change if the Premier League has its way.

Of course I’m talking about the proposal that every Premier League team should play an additional match each season in another country. This contrived and ugly idea stinks of top clubs finding new ways to line their pockets and, while chairmen are seeing dollar signs, I’m pleased that this suggestion has been greeted with scorn by the vast majority of supporters.

Football clubs’ genuine identities have been diminishing for a while now in favour of corporate branding and profit forecasts. The sport which used to be all about loyalty and a sense of community is now just a cash cow for foreign businessmen who care not that the common man is no longer able to afford to watch the team he has supported all his life.

I’m not na├»ve enough to suggest that we shouldn’t embrace the fact that the Premier League is admired the world over, but simply bolting another game haphazardly into the middle of the season in order to bully our way into foreign markets and earn more TV money is surely a lazy way to do it, and it brings with it the possibility of unfairly affecting the final league table through the capriciousness of the pairings for this extra round of matches.

Sure, the chance to see Arsenal play Tottenham in Sydney would be very appealing to someone like me who only has the substandard Australian A-League for entertainment, but what if the luck of the draw decided that two less glamorous teams were pitted together? I’m not sure the residents of somewhere like New York would be queuing round the block to watch Middlesbrough take on Aston Villa. And, without being disrespectful, if Blackburn were playing Bolton in my lounge, I’d probably stay in my bedroom.

Depressingly, while fat cats rub their hands together at the prospect of an extra few million quid falling at their feet, poor old Bournemouth – a lovely, family club - has gone into administration over an amount of money that wouldn’t buy the left leg of a Premier League player. Where did football go so horribly wrong?

The level of greed and narcissism in the Premier League is now so high that half of me hopes this proposal goes ahead and is an abject failure. Maybe it would take English football imploding on itself to finally give the people that run the game a sense of perspective.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I agree. I hope this never happens. I don't think it will judging by FIFAs stance on it anyway.