Why the Premier League faces PPV backlash despite ‘nice gesture’

Date published: Sunday 11th October 2020 11:05

Also... A whip round to send Pogba on his way from Man Utd and AWB the answer at centre-back.

Keep sending your mails on PPV and other gear-grinders to theeditor@football.com.

Why the PPV outrage?

I don’t quite follow the logic of the arguments against the EPL’s (where did we land on the “E” debate?) decision to charge £14.95 for games not originally sold as part of the rights package. The deals were signed before the pandemic, and therefore also when you agreed your deal with Sky (other providers are available). The fact they gave you additional content for 6 months could be viewed as a nice gesture in “these storage times”, but is instead being used as a stick to beat them. It is not a sound basis to demand the freebies continue.

You mentioned the tv packages being an outdated model, I’d argue that free trial periods followed by the option to pay going forward is a current model (the atletic, amazon prime, VPN services).

Of course I’d prefer to keep receiving them for free, but as has been mentioned, these are not included in tv packages because they are not the “biggest” fixtures of the weekend. If you don’t think a game is worth £14.95, don’t pay for it.

For fans who would have gone to the “smaller” game originally, rather than watch the TV fixtures, it is a cheaper option than a match day ticket. It’s not the same match day experience, but that’s currently off the table, and the price reflects that.

I don’t know if any clubs have sold season tickets, but now they may be able to provide these for free to those people, something which was a hollow gesture previously when it was available for free anyway.

If you don’t want to pay for it, don’t. If a sufficient number of people are turned off or disinterested the trial will be a failure. Advertisers won’t pay the big bucks for games only a few people are watching. If advertising revenue from “free” games > £14.95 x viewers + reduced advertising revenues, the “money grabbers” have their answer.

I’d prefer to get the Leeds games (not already on tv) for free, but I’ll happily stump up £14.95 to watch Bielsa’s boys if it’s one I wouldn’t otherwise have seen. Based on last weekend, I’ll happily stump up twice that to watch Liverpool and Man U games.

I suppose if I were a fan of one of those teams I wouldn’t be so keen. Perhaps therein lies some of the reason for the outrage…

Richard (brackets)

READ MORE: Summer transfer window 2020: Top ten biggest-spending leagues

A £15 scandal

Longtime reader, first time I’ve felt compelled to write in…

The deluded Premier League chief’s idea to charge £15 a match is nothing short of scandalous.

I’m currently a Sky subscriber including BT Sports, which costs the best part of £80 a month. I can barely justify this expense to my IPTV streaming friends as it is, but this new charge will likely have me searching for an illegal stream of the Spurs v Brighton game, and I have been staunchly against streaming in the past.

I could have stomached £5 for the odd untelevised match here and there, but over my dead body will I be paying £15 for a match not deemed good enough to be shown ordinarily.

Surely it would have saved them a lot of backlash to settle on a £5 charge for people currently paying for Sky and BT and £15 for those not subscribed. In their current war against pirates it could even of added extra subscribers for the current season, when the route they have chosen will only push law abiding fans such as myself to the dark side.

Robert THFC


You know what, Spoons LFC? it is a rip off.
Do yourself a favour, and carry out a little research. As a tip from me, you can grab a monthly sub from Optus Sports for all of your EPL, Champions League, Europa League, Internationals plus more for less than the cost of one PPV game. There’s other alternatives – NBC/Peacocks from USA etc, DAZN in Canada, and you really don’t need to go down the dodgy streaming road, which are mostly either crap to start with, or end up that way once they oversubscribe.

Terry N


You have to look at the kick off times to see why the decision to put games on PPV is nothing more than a money-making exercise. Before the pandemic, these PPV games would have been the non-televised Saturday 3pm games. Why did the Premier League not keep it that way? Fans could watch their respective teams play on a Saturday afternoon for £14.95 before tuning into the Sky/BT 1730 game. But no, these PPV games have been given prime time slots on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. All to monetise as much as possible and test the water for future PPV models. Saturday at 3pm is a distant memory.


Racism in football

Dino, why do you want to call Idi Amin the N-word, despite his monstrous past? If you seem to think that it is ok because he was a horrible dictator, then you’re really not educated enough to be discussing these issues. If you want to insult or disparage Idi Amin because of his past actions, then by all means go for it. But to use the N-word in your tirade is to specifically draw attention to the fact that he is black, and to insult him for that reason. Him being a monster and being black are not intrinsically linked, and in fact, have very little to do with each other. Using the N-word is to bring up his skin colour and then insult him for it. And not only does it insult him, but it insults black people everywhere, as you are specifically using a slur directed towards black people for being black. That word has so much historical context and weight behind it directed towards the subjugation of black people, that using it when insulting someone who happens to be black is heinous, and you should know that at this stage of your life.

And this is what I don’t get about football, that people feel the need to do it towards players like Sterling or insult homosexual players, or literally insult any player for anything about them that has nothing to do with football. Like why does them playing poorly for, or well against, the team you support, or moving club allow you to use such language? Why does it invoke an anger within you where you feel that making “those stupid mistakes” is allowed, even in that briefest of moments? And you’re right though, Dino, that to start policing speech opens a can of Orwellian worms, but actions have consequences, and people are free to react to the words you say. If your company fires you, if your football club bans you, if your wife leaves you, that is all their free prerogative to do so. You can say it if you want, but you should be able to live with the consequences thereafter, even if you don’t like them. And to say that people shouldn’t react in a way you don’t like is to essentially say that you should be allowed to be free to do what you want, and others can’t.

And yeah, taking your Jamie Vardy example, he used a racial slur, and was punished by his club. They could have fired him – and considering he racially abused a Japanese man while having a Japanese co-worker (Okazaki) – it would have been within their right to do so, but they chose not to. He spoke his words, and people reacted. His life didn’t end, and in fact, has made a pretty nice career for himself since then.

Neill Ryan


Player abbreviations

There’s a trend in the Mailbox that has bothered me for years and it rears it’s illiterate head every now and again. It’s the use of initials instead of writing a players full name.
It crept in a long time ago with Van Persie being referred to as RVP, John Terry as JT, it moved onto Van Gaals LVG, the most common usage now is Van Dijks VVD. These names are neither long nor difficult to spell.
Now we have players with bog standard names like Harry Maguire being referred to as HM and it’s just laziness. Worse than lazy, it transforms what could be a decent mail from someone into a cheap and nasty tabloid read.
If it’s a difficult name to spell, Azpilicueta still gets me, or Solskjaer, then copy and paste like I’ve just done here. Twice. Didn’t take me five seconds.
I could understand why abbreviating a persons name is useful if you’re being repeatedly asked to write Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink with a pencil but emails aren’t handwritten so make the effort. Please.

Eoin (old man shouting at clouds) Ireland 



For months there have been complaints over Wan Bissaka being too defensive and not attacking enough. There have also been complaints that United lack a defensive half with pace…..

Why not put Wan Bissaka at centre half and try him out. He has all the attributes to succeed.

Darragh, Ethiopia (MUFC)


Hipster Jacque

Hipster coffee-house / reading room snaps for Jacque Talbot, very well written and a good read on social media’s just exemplary state of being. Thank you.

Now as soon as you write anything bad about Olé, I know where to find you.

N.V.M. (twitter.)


The best decade for centre-backs

Interesting mail from Unknown J on “All Centre-Backs Are Terrible Now…”, which brought me to this point, which decade had THE best selection for centre-backs?

I have picked out a top 5 for each decade since the 90’s, now this is just my personal view on who i believe were the best from that era, many will argue about their inclusion and that is fair, so many huge names and some will of course miss out, I mean wow, Paulo Maldini was a world class left back as well as a centre-back, so based on these lists which would readers say had the best era?

90s: Paulo Maldini, Franco Baresi, Marcel Desailly, Jaap Stam, Ronald Koeman

2000s: John Terry, Rio Ferdinand, Carles Puyol, Fabio Cannavaro, Nemanja Vidic

2010s: Sergio Ramos, Gerard Pique, Giorgio Chiellini, Virgil Van Dijk, Vincent Kompany

Some truly iconic names, now I am sure many would debate my choices, which is fair, after all I have not included the likes of Hierro, Nesta, Carvalho, Blanc, Varane, Campbell etc, it is not easy at all to nail it down to just 5 names from each decade, but comparing those names to the current crop of centre-backs, well that list reads as followed, this is NOT my list, I just found the most popular names from a few “Top 10s”:

2020s: Virgil Van Dijk, Kalidou Koulibaly, Sergio Ramos, Aymeric Laporte, Gerard Pique

After looking across all of those lists I would argue that the 2000s certainly has the strongest list of names, after all you have a Ballon d’Or winner and World Cup winner in that selection, but my opinion is not important, this is a debate after all, so which decade do you feel had the best centre-backs and why?

Mikey, CFC (Best Centre-Back partnerships is a whole different list entirely)


Dear Paul,

We were all delighted and humoured in equal measures to hear you speak of your dream to play for Real Madrid once again. We really hope the stars align and you get your wish.

We’re sure you’ll have it covered, but should your dream ACTUALLY come to fruition, and you’re a bit stuck for the fare to España, as a gesture of ‘getting you the f*ck away from our football club’ we’ll organise a whip round, we’ll gladly help. Sure enough if we ask enough people we can probably find the numbers to carry you there, on the gold and diamond encrusted thrown you truely deserve.

In the meantime, if you could pull your finger out and start playing football like someone worthy of the famous white jersey, that would be great for all concerned, and make a bid that little be more likely.

As Gabrielle once sung, ‘Dreams can come true’.

Tired United Fans, Everywhere

Mark Endicott



Just 3 spring to mind:

Edison Cavani – Micky Flanagan
Luis Suarez – Sal Vulcano
Arthur Numan – David Bowie

Graeme, Glasgow 


Berba and Andy Garcia is hilarious. Here’s my entry: David Bentley and Ethan Hawke.

Viren CFC

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