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What’s the logic?
Why are gossip columns constantly banging on about Grealish to United?
He’s best as a left sided forward.
Is he going to replace Marcus Rashford?
Is he better than Marcus Rashford?
He’s also pretty good as a attacking centre mid.
Is he going to replace Fernandes?
Is he better than Fernandes?
Hint: many and varied noes.
United don’t need him, Liverpool don’t need him, City don’t need him.
Chelsea do to replace Willian and allow Pulisic to move to the right… if they weren’t signing Ziyech to play on the right, which they are. So Chelsea also don’t need him.
Tottenham might need him, but only if Son can be effective on the right or they wish to replace Alli in midfield. Neither of which I’d be inclined to prioritize doing if I were Jose.
So realistically that leaves Arsenal, who do need him whether or not Aubameyang leaves, Everton and potentially Newcastle if murderous dictators are judged to be fit and proper owners.
Arsenal seem to be the best fit for all concerned, but do they have the money? Everton could work though it’s a bit uninspiring.
I think Newcastle are the most likely, if they take the blood money. They’ll happily pay the fee and wages and the project would appeal.
Manchester United absolutely don’t need Grealish.
I miss being able to go outside.
Do we even want the season to restart?
Now “Project Restart” has been talked up this week, some for it, some against it, Sergio Aguero being against it amongst many other players and teams it seems, now I hate to sound a grumpy person but I must ask the question…..does anyone right now truly want football to resume the current season?
I truly agree that football is a fantastic escapism, debating whether VAR is the worst thing to happen since Lampard’s ghost goal against Germany in the World Cup of 2010, is Paul Pogba’s current hairstyle going to make Graeme Souness lose his temper for the 46th time this season etc, I myself have truly missed football and sport in general to talk about, to lose myself in, in fact I was glad of the NFL draft last week, being able to talk about something that was not Covid related certainly helped me mentally in a positive manner, but back to the topic in hand, this season being resumed is not something I for one am particular all in on, football is the last thing that is on my mind when it comes to the current climate we live in, I want regular life back as soon as anyone else, but it has to be safe, it has to be without high risk of getting potentially sick and putting others who are vulnerable at risk.
Basically I would be happy for the season to be ended now, Liverpool lift the title etc etc and we begin again like we would normally, if the pandemic has truly ended and it is safe to do so, in August, we start the 2020/21 season, I understand the reasons on both sides of the debate to finish the current season or to end in prematurely, but right now the restart of football is just not something we need to rush back, behind closed doors or not.
Referees and interviews
I am glad that, after my previous email, some folks are taking the ‘interviewing referees’ part seriously.
I also understand a few others’ concerns that it might not serve any purpose.
The point I’m making is this : EVERYONE involved in a match, except the referees, is forced to explain themselves one way or the other in the next few hours/days. But the refs cause calamity week after week by making horrendous decisions and seem to get away with it scot-free.
Ok, some of you might say that they don’t really get away with it since they might get demoted to referee a lower league match but that’s not the point.
Either ask the referees to explain themselves after the match OR mic them up like in rugby (Off to watch a few Nigel Owens videos) so we can their thought-process.
Even with VAR, Prem league seems to be the only league which has actually managed to make even MORE calamitous decisions.
This needs to be fixed.
Bucky Dent (Bangalore, India)
Think Will has missed the point.
Yes at 10 quid a month, the Prem won’t make anywhere near the £1.7bn they currently get.
But that’s what they get from selling the TV rights – that means Sky etc are giving that away to the PL and still making a tidy profit.
The subscriptions aren’t really important as a standalone, the real money is coming from the advertising that Sky/BT rope in due to their higher subscriptions, this surely can still be done by the PL on their own network – ie in the States “Primetime brought to you by Verizon” (other networks are available).
So for £10 a month, with a monopoly on the games, the Prem could easily have a stronger bargaining position with advertisers to raise the comparable money they get currently – meaning the benefits are actually passed on to the consumer.
I personally would not mind adverts during live games if this is the case, but they could always tone them down for the ‘on demand features’ or do what the NFL do with Redzone and have an advert free programme that flits between chances/goals.
I was happy to read the emails of Connor and Neil this morning regarding Premflix. They raised some good points but I wouldn’t say they have changed my mind.
Firstly Connor says he believes that a majority of UK subscribers only subscribe for the Premier League, well I have to take issue with that. Neither of us can prove conclusively the motivations behind each subscriber but for fans of the bigger Premier League clubs they also receive coverage of their teams European adventures which they would still have to fork out for currently and there are also FA Cup and League Cup matches (although the FA Cup is due to go all free to air next year I believe). I can only speak from personal experience but in my immediate circle of friends we all watch other sports coverage including cricket, the golf majors and Ryder Cup and rugby union such as the Lions Tour. All that would be lost for what would be in most cases 38 games that you really care about (19 in my case as I am a season ticket holder at Leicester).
Both Conor and Neil raise the global viewing figures and they are right they are vast however you cannot assume that all viewers would react equally positively to a Premflix model. The UK is actually one of the worst countries in the world for Premier League coverage when the price and amount of matches are taken into account particularly the 3pm blackout and therefore this is where Premflix makes the most sense.
Take Australia for example, on Monday Terry N reported that in Australia you can get every Premier League game already for £9-10 a month and that includes the Champions League, Europa League and “a fair few others”. No one in Australia is going to want to start paying £10 a month for the Premier League and then extra for the other games they used to get for the same price. In the UK Premflix means cheaper Premier League football and is great for consumers, down under it is a bad thing. Then there are the countries where £10 a month would be extremely expensive, based on figures I found from 2015 the UK’s average wage is 10 times that of most of Africa and about 4 times the average wage of China. Your moaning now about paying £42 a month imagine paying the equivalent of £100 a month!
I fully accept the advertising point of course income would be generated that way, however with no way of knowing how much I didn’t see the point in speculating. It would address some of the shortfall in my original email but who knows if it would be enough? If anyone out there could provide some figures I would be interested to hear.
On the technology point I am fully aware of the world feed that the Premier League produce however the streaming architecture required is no small matter. Netflix has approximately 190 million global subscribers and I would guess with time differences etc that they would never have that many people accessing content at once. Conor talks of getting the 1.03 billion households currently watching the Premier League as subscribers, working on the assumption that each household will watch on one screen the Premier League would need to put in place enough resources to service over 5 times the total Netflix subscriber base potentially accessing the same content at once. That is the scale of the task and I don’t think you can dismiss it as easily as Neil does. Yes it is highly unlikely that such a scenario would take place but it could and given the nature of live sport you can be sure that the peak demands on a service would be huge. This could be further complicated by separate sponsors in different territories, something that would probably be desirable to maximise revenue and necessary if you were to show advertisements during half time etc, no one in Brazil will be popping to Sainsbury’s in their lunch break.
The Premier League is currently the biggest football league in the world and particularly given current circumstances I highly doubt it is going to do anything to jeopardise that Potentially alienating huge numbers of fans worldwide by effectively upping the price or even putting it behind a paywall (some countries get free to air Premier League) will not be top of their to do list. Don’t get me wrong I would love cheaper Premier League football but until the current gravy train has been run dry don’t expect a change.
Family that don’t like bread…
Is it wrong to steal a loaf of bread to feed your starving family?Well, suppose you got a large starving family. Is it wrong to steal a truckload of bread to feed them?
And, what if your family don’t like bread? They like… Premier League football?
Next up E-H:
The E-Males: A few less familiar names cropping up now but we begin with Ederson in goal, Luis Enrique at RB (anyone who played CM knows he can play there!), and Brazil 1970 left back Everaldo at LB. Centre back duties are shared between Edinho (captained Brazil at Mexico ’86) and 1954 West German World Cup winner Herbert Erhardt. Emerson (formerly of Real, Juve, AC Milan & Roma, & still playing for Miami Dade!) is at the base of a diamond midfield with Duncan Edwards (c) and Steffen Effenburg in the middle. Eriksen is at the tip of the diamond, supplying the bullets for Eusebio & Eto’o. In reserve we have Evra, Essien, Eder, Edmundo & Elber.
The F-Offs: Widely regarded as the greatest Argentine goalkeeper of all-time, 1978 World Cup winner Ubaldo Fillol takes the gloves. Back four of Albert Ferrer, Ciro Ferrara, Rio Ferdinand and Inter legend Giacinto Fachetti (c). Roma & Brazil legend Falcao anchors the midfield behind a creative trio of Luis Figo, Enzo Francescoli & Sir Tom Finney. Just Fontaine and ‘God’ Fowler fill the onion bag. Bench options include Friedel, Finnan, Fernandinho, Fabregas, Fabinho ,Firmino and Les Ferdinand (sorry Anton).
The G-Spots: The only goalkeeper to win consecutive World Cups, Gilmar is between the posts. Wouldn’t mess with this back three: Andoni ‘Butcher of Bilbao’ Goikoetxea, Diego Godin & Claudio Gentile. 1970 World Cup winner Gerson sits in front of the back three, behind an attacking midfield consisting of Garrincha, Gerrard (c), Gascoigne & Giggs. Jimmy Greaves and Ruud Gullit provide pace, power and goals up top. In reserve are Goycochea, Grosics, Gattuso, Guardiola, Uruguyan 1950 World Cup goal-scoring winner Alcides Ghiggia & 6-time European Cup & 12-time La Liga winner Francisco Gento.
The H-Bombs: Rodolphe Hiden of the Austrian Wunderteam is in goal, behind a back four of Hottges (West German international 1972 European Championship winner and part of 1974 WC winning squad), Alan Hansen (c), Sami Hyypia and Emlyn Hughes. Didi Hamann protects the defence, allowing Hoddle and Hagi the freedom to create. Hungarian legend Nandor Hidegkuti plays his famous deep-lying centre-forward role, allowing Hazard and Henry to cut in from the flanks. Bench options include Higuita, Hierro, Hummels, Helveg, Helmer, Henderson, Heinze and Mark Hughes.
Vinny (LFC) Colchester
Another day, another F365 article slamming Project restart. I do understand that the language used in the Sun article is hyperbolic and over the top, but a simple glance at some of the articles in F365 over the past week — ‘Financial Necrosis’ or ‘Nothing Short of Football’s total collapse is coming’ — (and that’s just John Nic) — shows you can hardly point fingers.
I don’t quite understand the umbrage that a lot of outlets seem to be taking over restart. Yes, probably the best course of action is to follow the french and stop play. But it can’t hurt to explore options can it? All over the UK, businesses from Hospitality, Construction, Transport, to TV/Film production are exploring how best to proceed in a post-lockdown future. That is what project restart is doing. You talk –endlessly– in Mediawatch about ‘Straw Men’ technique. But that’s exactly what you are guilty of everytime you bring in the number of dead and ill or infections and use it as a stick to beat anyone talking of restarting the PL.
Yes, the owners of PL clubs are guided by money and are exactly the sort of people that will suffer the least from this pandemic. But no-one is remotely suggesting that anyone should take PPE and tests from the NHS in order to start footy up again. It’s exploring options. It’s seeing if there is a way to look at life after we’re over this.
How many ‘hot takes’ begin with ‘I don’t know how anyone can think about playing football again when there’s people sick’. It’s forward planning. It may all turn out to be impossible or implausible, but the moralistic handwringing is tedious at best.