Saturday, February 9, 2008

Another attempt to conquer the World

First one started in 17th century and resulted in a empire spread across entire planet and lasting for mammoth 300 years. Now another attempt is made to repeat that but in a peaceful manner. If Industrial revolution and gunpowder where the potent weapons then, this time around it is a small ball - an air-filled sphere with a circumference of 68–70 cm (or 27–28 inches), a weight 410–450 g (or 14–16 ounces), inflated to a pressure of 8–12 psi, and covered in leather or other suitable material. Yes football.

If recent proposals of English Premier League are to go by then each team in Barclay's Premier League will play one match abroad in the month of January starting 2010-11 season. This match will be a proper competitive match with its points contributing to the title race. Idea is taken from similar moves by NBA last year and promises globalization of already popular EPL. The Premier League is the most lucrative football league in the world, with total club revenues of over £1.4 billion in 2005–06 season according to Deloitte, 40% above its nearest competitor: Italy's Serie A. Revenues will increase to approximately £1.8 billion in the 2007–08 season, when new media rights deals start. Also EPL compares favorably with NBA, NFL & NHL in revenues and viewership. Then what is the main reason for this proposal??


Making teams play abroad is just a gimmick to swell the coffers of rich league as well as cash hungry owners of these clubs like Abramovichs and Glazers. But what problems this move could create must be pondered upon by EPL Board:

-> Making already grueling season more hectic. So it does not comes as a surprize that most of the managers are crying foul.

-> This will furthur increase the divide between top four and rest of the group. Honestly who would prefer watching Wigan vs Derbyshire in face of ManU vs Arsenal. So all to gain will be big clubs.

-> This will reduce the importance of local derbies. Liverpool vs Everton & Arsenal vs. Spurs make sense only in their hometowns not in far away Bangkok.

-> Who and how will these fixtures will be decided.

-> May alienate many faithful English fans. Also how many ardent supporters will be able to cheer their teams faraway.

These and many other questions must be answered by Board and only after discussions with managers must this proposal be put to practice. Meanwhile I am relishing Arsenal vs ManU in New Delhi... ;-)

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