The day football died? A tad melodramatic for my liking, Thursday was more the day the Premier League ditched any pretence that it was a fair, balanced competition with English football at its core.
The answer to players playing too many matches, it seems, is to play an extra game. Oh but don’t worry, it’s not as if it would be in some far-off corner of the world. What’s that, it is? Oh.
I’ve tried to resist as long as I could from writing anything on this subject as quite frankly I was torn between absolute despair and just good old-fashioned blind fury.
Richard Scudamore (from now on referred to on this site as “Scudy-Doo”), the Premier League’s Chief Executive told BBC Sport:
It’s an extra game, it’s is not taking anybody’s game away, and it includes all 20 clubs which is very important. All 20 clubs will benefit and there is a huge element of solidarity about it.
When the league does well, other people in the football family do well in terms of redistribution. We feel it is a very positive thing.
You can’t stand still and if we don’t do this then somebody else is going to do it, whether it be football or another sport. Therefore it’s trying to ride the crest of that wave at the same as protecting what is good and great about what we do.
Every time there is an evolutionary step, the reaction of the fans is not always great but I would ask them to take a step back and look at the positives.
This roughly translates to:
Nobody can complain that they’ve lost ticket revenue as it’s an extra game, and as it’s only one game that’ll make them a mint clubs won’t take about this “burn-out” myth. Every chairman was particularly pleased with earning a packet of cash for playing just one game.
We need to get in there before the Yanks do but more importantly before the bubble bursts and the rest of the world actually realise that the Premier League is only about four clubs – and the way Liverpool are going it’ll be three before long.
People are going to complain, but then again they always do.
In case you’re not familiar with the plan, the basic details (taken from the BBC website) are:
An additional round of Premier League fixtures, extending the season to 39 games, from January 2011.
Four clubs to travel to one of five host cities, with two games taking place in each venue over a weekend.
Cities would bid for the right to become a host, not for individual matches.
Points earned from the games would count towards the final Premier League table.
One of the ways they would try and keep things “fair” is to seed the top five teams so that they don’t meet each other. Sorry? How is that not just a blatant way of ensuring one of the top five appears in each city?
The whole idea is a complete and utter joke and just goes to show that if you sell out to foreign owners there’s going to have to be a kick-back.
I can just see supporters in countries such as Japan, China, India, Dubai and the States queuing up in their thousands for tickets to see Blackburn V Middlesbrough or Wigan V Fulham. I’d take the Norwich/Ipswich derby or the Championship play-offs over that dross any day of the week.
Remember those Coca-Cola adverts with the “You’re the Real fans” song in? At the time I found them cringe-worthy and embarrassing but as the years go by they seem to ring more and more true.
We may as well just write-off the Premier League as far as English football is concerned. There aren’t any English managers, players or owners left anymore. England is simply the host of the Scudy-Doo and Friends show.
English football as a whole will benefit? Pardon my French but that is complete b*llocks. Tell that to a Bournemouth fan, who woke up to the news that their club had entered administration, or to a Luton Town fan, or a Wrexham fan, or to any fan of a club outside the Premier League.
English football is Championship level down, with the Premier League an ever-increasingly closed shop of corporate non-entities all struggling to promote their “brand” on a global scale. It’s the self-styled “best league in the world” which somehow manages to also be one of the most uncompetitive.
I’m too angry about it to write any more so I’ll leave the final word to Michel Platini, the Uefa President:
It’s a strange and comical idea. I laughed because it will never be received by Fifa, by the fans and the national associations. It’s a nonsense idea. It’s like if I am the president of Uefa and I put the house of Uefa in China.
It’s ironic. Soon you will have in England no English presidents, you already have no English coach and maybe now you will have no clubs playing in England. It’s a joke… I had a phone call with Mr Blatter this morning and we share the same idea that it’s the responsibility of the national associations, and I am sure they will never accept it because it’s not good for football.
I think the FA of England will oppose it. The beauty of football is you have some values, you have the teams, you have the fans, you represent something important and you are not a travelling circus. You are not a show, we are part of 100 years of history.