Friday, February 08, 2008

Making A Mockery of the Game

Not that there was much doubt about it but the Premier League have finally proved that football in this country is no longer a sport but a business as it looks to sell its soul to the highest bidder. At a meeting in London yesterday all 20 Premier League clubs agreed in principle to extend the season by one game creating an extra ten games in total. Those extra ten games would then be played abroad after being auctioned off to the highest bidding cities around the world.

This money spinner would of course make the league a farce. It means that the worst teams over the season possibly won't be relegated. Instead the team who draws one of the top clubs for their extra game could then see their relegation opponents draw one of the weaker teams.

It means fans will no longer be buying season tickets but 'part of the season tickets'. It means loyal fans who want to see every match of their club will be fleeced even more by rich foreign owners. Ultimately I expect it could mean the relocation of some clubs overseas.

If anyone know of a fans' campaign to oppose this move please leave a comment.

  • I have found and signed an online petition against these proposals.
  • I have e-mailed my disgust to the Premier League
  • The Football Supporters Federation also have a poll about these proposals. It is only a poll but I guess if thousands vote then it might spur them onto some proper campaigning on this issue.


At 12:49 PM, Anonymous greendressinDUBLIN said...

i said back in september that i would love to have more EPL games played in america, but this proposal is unsavory.

one bbc editor said that the FA has a product they can make more money with? is the product the game, the players or both? if it is the game, sorry, but i would prefer to see the top italian teams play each other or better yet the top spanish teams. they have more brazilians and they are the best to watch. if it is the players, how is extending their season going to effect the injury problems afflicting so many players?

if it is both, can we have a little bit more respect for the players. it is already bad enough that their schedule takes a turn for the worst during the christmas season, do the owners have to add insult upon the injuries. i cannot imagine that players that have an incredibly long schedule -with no chrismas break to speak of- agreeing with this. will the players get any voice in this?

if the players have no say then they are effectively the serfs -highly paid serfs- but serfs nonetheless of the owners. i can well imagine a situation where many players wld rather make a little less money and get a real christmas break and just go home and be with their families -not have their season extended. it is one thing to move a few of the current fixtures abroad and a totally different thing to add more fixtures with one motivation in mind: to get more out of the product.

as for the suggestion that the EPL has to increase its global presence, this is news to me and the one billion people who watched the last arsenal vs manchester united game. football is the #1 sport in the world. yes, the NFL and NBA need to do some serious marketing if they want their sports to have any global recognition, but extending its global recognition is not the the problem of the EPL.

consequently, the idea that this is happening because the EPL now has 9 foreigner owners reeks of nationalism. the EPL has 9 foreign owners but 20 clubs. the fact is _all_ the EPL owners agreed to this. does this fact mean that the 9 are more greedy than the rest?

At 6:27 PM, Anonymous Chris said...

It's really hitting the fan in England, huh? I think your sense of Nationalism is getting in the way of your better judgement. Capitalizing on overseas market means smaller clubs will have more money to spend when they need it. Capitalizing on overseas markets means clubs can keep ticket prices the same. Capitalizing on overseas market means other humans in the world can share with you have. I'm a West Ham supporter who can't afford to fly across the Atlantic and drop 200 pounds for tickets. There are many of us here.

Capitalizing on overseas markets has been done by the NFL, NHL, MLB and NBA, which are all respected leagues here in America. All were successful.

Relocating clubs? That is the most absurd thing I have ever heard. It is illogical and speaking (or typing) without thinking.

Your own arrogance is making you all look bad in the eyes of the people around the world who love this game and their team, just as much as you do.

To you this is just business, but to everyone around the world who can finally sit in a stadium and support their club it's a treat.

I'm sorry for being a bit harsh, but as a passionate supporter who reads this blog day in and should stop insulting all of your supporters who come to read what you write. If you haven't noticed by the fleeting comments, it isn't exactly the English on here all the time.

Chris, in NYC

At 6:58 PM, Blogger Keir Clarke said...

All good points Chris. I have noticed on the KUMB forum a distinct split between overseas fans and English / London fans of the club on this issue.

Clearly overseas fans have seen this as a great possible opportunity to see West Ham and London fans have seen it as a kind of betrayal of their support.

I am aware that my views are coloured by the fact that I live within walking distance of The Boleyn. The fact that the proposed new stadium is just around the corner from my house plays a part in why I am in favour of that move.

I am therefore prepared to admit that my view on the proposed move to playing a game overseas is selfish. But it is my view.

One of the things that makes English football so special is the passion of the home (and away fans). The proposed extra game and the drawing of lots is also patently ridiculous.

One suggestion I think I read on KUMB was the scrapping of the League Cup and creating another cup competition that could be played abroad. I would be more in favour of that than the present proposal.

I hope my views aren't really that insulting to you Chris. This could be a big issue in the English game but shouldn't have too much effect on this blog.

I do appreciate there are many overseas Hammers who read this blog and I certainly hope you keep on coming back for more.

At 7:33 PM, Blogger portugal said...

i can understand some of the concerns voiced here by kieran and dublin, but i think some good can come from it. i appreciate that it may look purely like just "big business" ,but i don t think its all negatives,not by a long shot. i think the idea of all EPL clubs getting a chance to play on another continent in a proper league match could generate recognition for all the clubs involved,not just those already with a "global brand" like man utd. i think a lot depends on the details- if the concept is executed sensibly and with a lot of thought ,some good can come from it.

At 12:17 AM, Anonymous the busey said...

I think that bringing the games over here to the U.S., and other places, would be good for the game. It would be good for fans over here because we don't have shit to see live, and it would bring more money to the league and the clubs, which is the entire reason that they are considering this.

At 8:11 PM, Anonymous Chris said...

I really wasn't insulted, I think I was just in the heat of the moment which is what I was being a critic of in the first place. I'll always be jealous of the fact that support for sports here in the U.S. is mild to mildly passionate, while the support is always top notch for football in England, Italy and many other countries.

Sometimes I may think I'm more of a part of it then I am, and I should have taken a step back myself. There's enough time for the FA to make this work, and I hope for everyone they can. I'll always come back...I can't get enough of your Mark Lawrenson hatred.

Oh, to be able to walk to the Boleyn...

Chris, in NYC

At 12:21 AM, Blogger Keir Clarke said...

Being able to walk to the Boleyn is 'huge'! However the football club is about all that the East End of London has going for it Chris. Which might be why I feel so passionate about it.

If you do ever manage to get it to together to come over I'll be happy to put you up - but on a reciprocal basis. You'll have to repay the favour! Especially if the league go ahead with their scheme and West Ham end up playing in New York.

At 5:36 PM, Blogger portugal said...

in fairness,as an american working in london , i d say east london has quite a bit going for it.


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