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Opinion

I know it’s not fashionable but Premier League and broadcasters have done great job with this

3 weeks ago
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The Premier League have done a great job, there, I’ve said it.

I know it isn’t fashionable or even acceptable to be praising the people running the Premier League BUT on this occasion they deserve it.

The broadcasters too. Another group of people that none of us are supposed to praise.

Don’t get me wrong, I still think that those who own the 20 Premier League clubs and the administrators they employ (Masters, Hoffman etc) are pretty disgusting and unscrupulous people, with very rare exceptions, who care absolutely nothing about the actual sport or the fans.

Same with the broadcasters, the likes of Sky Sports and BT Sport with motivations that are a million miles away from what supporters would prioritise and like to see happen.

However, just because they are evil leeches that attach themselves to the sport that we all love, they do get things right at times.

Not that anything good for fans is ever done intentionally for that reason, rather it is pure coincidence when they are working out how to maximise their own financial rewards.

Where I think broadcasters and the Premier League have done a great job, is the staging of matches since project restart.

Obviously they all needed to get the matches up and running to ensure the finances keep flowing BUT when it comes to the actual product that we see / experience whilst fans are banned from stadiums, then fair play.

I’m not of course talking about the outrageous £14.95 pay per view, or indeed the charges for their usual football / sport packages, simply the actual product we see on out TVs when sitting at home during lockdown or whenever.

When Premier League football came back onto our screens back in June 2020, you heard countless comments along the lines of it’s not the same without fans in the stadiums, even when talking about the product /experience when sitting at home.

Since the current season kicked off, I haven’t heard anything much really along those lines.

To an extent, obviously a lot of those who were complaining might have stopped paying / watching, which would explain in part why there has been a drop off in terms of moaning / criticising.

However, I think by far the biggest factor has been people being more honest and just accepting it for what it is, rather than the reactionary opinion / comments that they maybe thought they were expected to make and simply parroting others.

Indeed, most of the criticism I see now, is from privileged journalists who actually still get into Premier League stadiums now, then still feel entitled to complain that the matches feel more like training ground games and it is an illusion what fans are seeing when watching at home, how the games are packaged and the added crowd noise etc.

However, surely this is simply how it has always been to an extent, we have always been sold a bit of an illusion with the Premier League. Told how it is the greatest league in the world, ‘Super Sunday’, the best players, teams and football etc, the hype always sky high.

This, what we are seeing now, is just another kind of hype / packaging.

In terms of sitting at home watching Premier League games on TV, I honestly think it is better than doing the same (watching on TV) before the fans were locked out.

Supporters in the grounds would obviously enhance it but I think the crowd noise definitely works for me  and the actual football has been far more entertaining and attacking than it was previously. All kinds of theories as to why that might be, less pressure with no crowds there, or maybe just more of a determination to play attacking and enterprising football to entertain fans at home, or maybe just more talented progressive managers overall in the Premier League.

Newcastle United are obviously though one of the very few who have refused to buy into this brave new world, in terms of more progressive attacking football, Burnley one of the other select few also producing very poor football and entertainment.

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Simply looking it as something you watch on TV and as I accept, yes it is an illusion in many ways (crowd noise etc) BUT that is really what we want / need at the moment isn’t it, something to distract from the everyday misery of the virus impacted situation.

So many Premier League matches were unwatchable in the past but I find very few are now, when I have time to sit and watch them. Indeed, it is only really our (Newcastle) matches that stand out as so poor, partly because I watch them all and because they are…so poor, due to Bruce’s abject negativity.

Obviously they have got the resources to do it and it is essential to keep the cash rolling in but the success of the testing is there for all to see, very few positive cases and not a single Premier League match cancelled so far due to the virus, since restart in June.

So put your feet up in front of the TV and enjoy.

It isn’t perfect but then that is all our lives in general at the minute.

I think the Premier League football is proving a brilliant distraction on TV at the minute and hopefully the reports of all the other games no longer being PPV for the foreseeable will be officially confirmed shortly.

It is always difficult to imagine what a different scenario would feel like.

However, when there was no football, including on TV from March onwards, it was shocking.

I most definitely would dread going back to that, so appreciate what we have got, even though it is only an accident we the fans are benefiting, as the Premier League and broadcasters do everything they can to get ever richer.

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