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Another nail in the coffin
I think this deal will be looked back upon in years to come as the moment the Premier League TV bubble burst.
A lot of people I know don’t have BT Sport because they don’t want to pay extra on top of their Sky bill to watch the Premier League. I am not convinced many people will be willing to pay for 3 different subscriptions. Some might benefit from already having Amazon Prime and get free football for a while, but I really do think this will be the Premier League’s downfall.
It might seem a bit dramatic and Amazon only got 2 gameweeks, but I really don’t think you can keep adding to the amount of subscriptions consumers have to sign up to and pay for and not expect any negative results. It’s become too fragmented now, the competition between Sky and BT was good but the Premier League has been too greedy by getting a third broadcaster.
…Can anyone in the mailbox explain to me how, as a consumer, things have got better for me as a consumer? Going from paying Sky £20 for all the Premier League games, to now paying £20 to Sky, £20 to BT a month and a potential £79 to Amazon annually? Sure people might say, ‘you’ve got more choice’ and I say no I don’t, I like watching football which means I have to fecking pay over double what was paid previously.
Seriously, sometimes I’m like ‘F*** the Premier League’
John Matrix AFC
I know we have a World Cup coming soon but I am seriously getting excited about the next Premier League season, Arsenal could have their year (we’re the new Liverpool fans). I love the way Emery appears to have a clear plan about adding power and aggression to the squad and can’t wait to see how it pans out.
I do have a real fear that Fellaini may join Arsenal. I don’t know why I have this fear, but I do. I know we need steel and all that game, but surely someone better is out there? I’d like to know why F365 (Storey) want this so badly (was it irony or genuine?).
Also, Shaqiri. He would be an awesome addition for us. He is still young and very skilful and would play with two of his countrymen in Xhaka and Lichsteiner. It feels as if it’s meant to be. Now I don’t think he’s an automatic starter but to add depth to our squad he’d be fantastic.
I do have a mini concern over our lack of signing a goalie yet though. Not sure who we can realistically go for but I’m sure it’s being worked on behind the scenes. Odd that no one is being linked but presumably that’s due to Liverpool doing the same as us. I’d like one of the English keepers (Pickford, Pope, Butland) to give us the right profile but I am happy for someone else.
I am automatically drawn to Jasper Cillesen because he has a very cool first name.
Jaz (Jasper) Gooner
Premier League power
It may not make many headlines but another nail has been hammered into the coffin of competitive top flight football.
The decision today to change the way that the money generated by selling foreign TV rites shifts the balance of power yet again between the haves and have nots in the league.
The ratio of prize money between the team finishing top and the tea finishing bottom will now grow to 1.8 to 1, the largest it has ever been. This may not seem like a huge gulf but also bear in mind the top 4 are subsided hugely by UEFA for participating in the Champions League – simply taking part in the groups stages nets about €12.5 million, with €1.5 million and another €6 million for getting to the round to 16.
That is prize money alone by the way, Champs league TV rights add millions extra on top of that.
The gulf in finances between the top 6 and the teams below is now huge ad getting wider every season. We are essentially looking at two leagues in one, where the top 6 jockey for Champs League and the remaining 14 fight to finish 7th.
Finishing 7th is the now limit of the ambitions for the majority of the league and that is not going to lend itself to a league that is either competitive or fun to watch.
If you publish this then in the comments you will probably get a lot of people saying this is just jealousy and bitterness because I support one of the have not clubs – and to a certain extent that is true – I wish my team was better than they are, surely we all wish that for our teams.
The point is though, the system is now skewed against my club and clubs of our ilk so much that we can’t even dream of competing anymore. At that stage, you really do need to ask what the point of the whole thing is anymore.
Tom, WHUFC (I’m sure I’ll also get stick about our “Government Funded” ThunderDome)
Good article by Matt Stead today. It is indeed interesting to see what will happen at Everton this summer, one can always say that supporting the blues is at the very least, polemic. From crisis to confidence, from high expectations to despair, supporting Everton is certainly eventful but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Most fans I know appear to be split on Silva. There are stories to warm the cockles of your heart, and conversely stories that scare the sh*t out of you. Like I said, we are polemic, so personally I think he’ll fit right in here.
Aren’t all football fans like this though? We are constantly told by the pious that we should be happy with our lives and just cheer on the team at all times, regardless of failures. There is of course some merit in that argument, but only if I wasn’t paying through the nose to “support” my team.
So a couple of questions to the mailbox: If you bought a TV and the picture wasn’t very good, would you send it back or just put up with it? If you bought a car and the wheel fell off, would you take it back or just nail a replacement on yourself?
Fat Man Scouse (not a happy-clapper)
Long time reader, first time emailer.
Russia fine for racist chanting in the France match in March: £22k
Besiktas fine for a cat invading the bitch against Bayern in the Champions League: £30k
What a f*cking disgrace. The sooner sensible nations break away from this inept organisation the better.
John, Irish Londoner (the World Cup is nothing without Wes Hoolahan)
Three Lions remastered
Tim Royall GFC asked for suggestions for updated lyrics to Three Lions, reflecting 21st-centruy performances and the current mood surrounding the England team… so here it is, my attempt at Three Lions ’18. I am confident that, if nothing else, it’s better than Britain’s Coming Home
Obviously the “it’s coming home” refrain cannot be improved, so remains unchanged
Everyone seems to think we’re done
They read it in the Sun
We’ll be crap, won’t have fun
Our only world class player is Kane
Sterling should be ashamed
Wilshere’s not on the plane
But I believe that
We might not be s***
We might make the quarters
Don’t think we’ll win it
But, why not support us?
Sure, we were crap back in ’16
But what’s that even mean?
Different time, different team
We won’t have Rooney blunting attack
Hodgson fearing the sack
or Joe Hart at the back
So I believe that
We might not be s***
We might make the quarters
Don’t think we’ll win it
But, why not support us?
[insert thematically appropriate commentary noises]
It can’t be as pants as it was back in France…
…Just doing the two lines suggested by Tim Royall GFC, I’d change it to:
‘But I still see Wayne treading on balls, and when Sol didn’t score, Lampard got the wrong call, and Iceland winning’ and then ‘And now we all care less than before, Kane might take a corner, and if Raheem don’t score, he’ll get racist abuse’
I can’t get excited because from an England perspective it’s just been dour crap with the odd false dawn since I was 8.
Matt (Come on Senegal!) LFC
…“…And now I see Kane claiming them all, Sterling blamed for it all, Phil Jones gurning some more, and Alli diving…”
Perhaps not quite as inspiring. Back to the drawing board…. I think I’ll just stick World in Motion on.
…‘And now I see Kane shooting to score/Raheem bullied by all/Welbeck falls on the floor. And Phil Jones gurning…’
…In answer to Tim Royall GFC wondering how people would update Three Lions, how about:
“But I’m not as naive as before, we will start with a draw, it’ll all be a bore… and out to Poland! THREE LIONS ON A SHIRT…”
Keith Hodge, Stratford – (Just kidding. England all the way! Kane Golden Boot!)
Renton was right
Fionn’s memories of Robbie Keane from the last time the Boys in Green made it to the World Cup stirred some memories of the last time Scotland were there. Much like Fionn, this is the first World Cup that I can really remember (possibly because I was 1 year old the time before). Quick maths suggest I was 9 at the time of the France 98 and had been football mad since Euro 96 when, as much as I hate to admit it, I used to practice Gazza’s lob over Hendry in the back garden.
Scotland, the perennial whipping boys, had the pleasure of playing the first game. This was back when the holders played the first game instead of the hosts. The holders were Brazil. To say I was pessimistic was an understatement – we were expecting a hammering. Then something strange happened. Despite going 1-0 down inside 5 minutes we held on for a bit and actually equalised. As I recall (and this memory may be rose-tinted somewhat) we were actually on top for a period in the second half. Then Tom Boyd showed up. Brazil nip down the wing and put a cross in. Andy Goram gets a hand to it but it doesn’t go far and TB casually chests the ball in to his own net. Colin Hendry just watched on aghast. The players just collapsed. The whole bloody street groaned simultaneously.
But, at the end there was some reason for hope. We’d performed on the biggest stage. However, as is the Scottish way, we went in to the last game of the group against Morocco needing a win for us and for Brazil to beat Norway. Norway, after being pie for the other two games, pump Brazil and it’s irrelevant because we somehow contrive to get beat 3-0 off the worst team in the group (after us).
I can vividly recall that game against Brazil. The image of John Collins scoring the penalty to equalise and all the players dumped on the turf shattered at the end will forever endure. It felt like Scotland were a big team because we were playing the first game, against the champs. There was loads of coverage and it really was a big event. Then we actually give them a game and the whole nation got pumped even further. Then… glorious failure.
Renton put it best – “It’s sh*te being Scottish”.
World Cup joy
The World Cup. 1982. Northern Ireland arrives with the youngest ever finalist, a certain Norman Whiteside. We are there to make up the numbers. We know that. The country is still being ravaged by conflict, death, bombs, riots. But one thing brings young men together, football. We play. We draw 0-0 with Yugoslavia, phew, we draw 1-1 with Honduras, come on lads, that could have been our moment, so now it’s Spain and off we go, back to reality. Except. Except! EXCEPT!!! We don’t. We win. we beat the hosts! Living rooms across the land are filled with tearful shouts and screams, as fathers and sons hug like never before, dancing up and down. The pubs fill with all sorts of people that have talked football before. Girls and boys hug each other with smiles of joy. Pints poured, the details discussed and Gerry Armstrong is sainted that night.
We made the Quarter Final. It was our greatest ever night, and for a population of 1.5 million, it was as good as a win.
World Cup misery
It’s just over two months until the PL starts again, and we can stop pretending that watching Saudi Arabia and Morocco putting 10 men behind the ball for three games is the best football can aspire to.
Mailbox hall of fame
I think a shout out for David Szmidt is well deserved for his positive Friday football mails. I’ve sent a few of them round to my mates. A personal fave of mine is Brian LFC for being relentlessly optimistic about my club (since Hodgson left), it always cheers this cynical scouser up.
Also does anyone remember Chris (ITFC), Liverpool? He still writes in less frequently but I remember his mails being much more mental (but no less funny).
Tom, LFC, Manchester
More from Planet Sport:
FEATURE: Ten times ball kids found themselves the centre of attention at tennis matches (Tennis365)
The 89 players in the World Cup sticker album not heading to Russia (Planet Football)