The early 1990s were a tumultuous time for English football. Graham Kelly, whom I seem to recall as a PR chief before he colluded to bring about an irreversible change in the game, announced his ‘Blueprint for Football’. The heart of it was the Premier League, back in the day called the Premiership I seem to recall.
Money and TV rights were at the heart of it all and once again it is causing a fracture. The ‘Big Six’ want more while the other fourteen are quite happy with their lot. In his final act before stepping down, Richard Scudamore cobbled together a peace of sorts; money from the overseas rights will be shared based on league position. The Six partially got their way, persuading six turkeys to vote for Christmas as well; no doubt they sold it as Easter to disguise their intent.
With Scudamore gone, the 39th game dies surely? I don’t doubt that overseas games are to come; you only have to look at the NFL for the lead. Perhaps we’ll go down the route of Italian football and see a Community Shield in Atlanta or Asia as a starting point.
The sale of rights to Amazon is, to some, the thin edge of the wedge. More money to fork out (£79) as well as Sky’s package and BT; the ceiling, it seems, was reached financially as Sky/BT acted to stop the rampant increases in bidding. There’s a shared platform deal coming and television is fighting back.
Streaming is something mooted previously and enticing Amazon into the fray puts BT more at risk than Sky. However, are streaming season tickets that far away? The Premier League can find a model to work if it wants to and the clubs driving this fracture may see that reality arrive to sate their desire for more money.
The Best Things in Life are Free
With Juventus president openly talking in the British media of a Super League being necessary, English football is driving a schism in football once again. Domestic football is becoming secondary with the sense that the clubs feel they have taken this nation for all the money they can.
If we’re at a crossroads, there is no point in looking for Arsenal to take the lead. Enos is quite happy for the Liverpool mob to be cheerleaders for change; silence is golden as far as KSE is concerned, preferring to do his talking behind the scenes. It would come as no surprise to learn that Enos is stoking the fires and letting Henry inhale. We know what they are smoking on Merseyside.
There was some football thankfully to distract from this. Danny Welbeck (just about) added to his England tally with a diving header from Dele Alli’s shot which Glenda decided was a cross. Welbz headed downward and against the post, but as the cliche goes, they all count.
Despite being hailed as the greatest thing since sliced bread, Harry ‘one of our own’ Kane isn’t England’s top scorer in the squad; Welbz is. Which I’m just staggered by and yet there’s a quiet optimism that England could do quite well, relatively speaking. The last eight would be a success; the bar has been lowered significantly by Capello and Hodgson.
Elsewhere, Bernd ‘Jay’ Leno is back on the radar with Morgan Sanson of Marseille the new kid on the block as far as the back pages are concerned. There’s a Delilah joke screaming to stay in on that one.
And Robert Pires is keen to join the coaching staff, to provide a link between the players and Emery’s staff.
Yeah, Yeah, I’ll Get Around To It…
Finally, to those who’ve ‘signed up’ to the World Cup predictions competition, I’ll send out the info in the next 24 hours. To anyone else who would like to take part, send your details to competitions [at] aclfarsenal [dot] co [dot] uk.