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Opinion

Premier League the best in the World – Not for fans it isn’t

9 months ago
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The Premier League is the greatest league in the world…or so they tell us.

Once the latest Premier League UK TV deals auction failed in February, the writing was on the wall.

Only five of the seven packages were successfully sold and they were at reduced prices.

The golden goose wasn’t quite killed off but it certainly wasn’t getting any fatter.

You just knew then, that the squeeze on football fans would then come from elsewhere, as you clearly can’t have the rich failing to get even richer.

On Thursday, it was announced by the Premier League that the big six had somehow bullied the rest of the clubs into accepting that from 2019/20, the rich will get even more money from the international joint revenue (mainly from TV deals), whilst those at the bottom will get less.

Secondly, the Premier League then announced that they had finally sold the last two UK rights TV packages, on the cheap, meaning a rise from 168 to 200 of 380 PL games to be shown live as from 2019/20. This inevitably means more inconvenience for fans who go to the matches.

Then on Friday we had the ‘mid-season player break’ announcement.

As from 2019/20, this will take place in February and there will actually be no break in terms of having Premier League matches each weekend fixtures will be split with 10 clubs resting one weekend and the other 10 the next one, the likes of PL Chairman Richard Scudamore shameless as usual.

Who has any interest in watching all 10 games on live TV in any round of matches? As usual, the match-going fans aren’t even considered, exactly how many fans of Newcastle or the other 19 clubs would have voted for this ‘mid-season break’ which means no game for them on another weekend?

Also, to help accommodate the change, they have agreed that all FA Cup fifth round matches will now be midweek.

Thanks very much. Imagine Newcastle getting somebody on the south coast or down in Wales etc, indeed many other places. Getting there and back on a weekend easily done but midweek?

I know it is difficult to imagine NUFC getting to the fifth round (never happened in 11 years of Mike Ashley) but you get the point for all fans, both home and away actually, who will be inconvenienced. This is yet another massive nail in the coffin of the FA Cup.

So for your average fan who goes to matches and is one of the majority who doesn’t support one of the ‘big six’, this is how it will look as from August 2019…

Your club is all but certain to get a smaller proportion of PL international revenue, meaning your club will find it even harder to compete from that point.

With 20% more matches to be shown live on UK TV, every fan is almost guaranteed to have more of their club’s matches moved.

The February break means if you are lucky enough to see your club reach the fifth round of the FA Cup, the game will be midweek and makes it tougher/impossible for many people to attend.

Anybody who thinks the Premier League is the greatest in the world, for those who actually go to Newcastle (and other PL) matches, is surely having a laugh.


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