Get It Quietly

Football, bollocks and a bit of poker if you're lucky.

Location: Enfield, London, United Kingdom

Thursday, September 30, 2004

The Prawn Sandwich Brigade

The Mob Forum has been sliding downhill very slowly for quite a while. The latest slip down the slope is a tedious succession of "my team's better than your team" United/Arsenal/Chelsea threads. It sounds like the same people posting repeatedly under different names to create the illusion of support for their views, my very least favourite forum tactic, then again there are a lot of these people about so who knows. More to the point though who cares ?

The vast influx of money into the Premiership has created a very clear-cut three tier system. At the top, United, Arsenal and Chelsea*. Regular participation in the noses-to-the-trough Champions League brings in a lot of money, which is used to ensure qualification for next year's jamboree, and so on and so on. At the bottom, the three promoted clubs who struggle desperately to make up the gap with the clubs who are on Premiership money year in year out. In the middle, the rest, maybe Liverpool and Newcastle just with enough of an edge to be favourites for the last Champions League spot, mainly due to previous CL cash-ins. Basically you have a huge gap between 3rd and 4th, a huge gap between 17th and 18th, and hardly any between 4th-17th. Zzzzzzzz. The only issues of note are who will win (can't see past Arsenal myself) and whether any established Premiership club can perform the considerable feat of cocking it up enough to get relegated (eg Leeds last year, Southampton are having a good try).

The leagues below can be very exciting (I'll come on to this in a later post) but only because everyone's basically skint and there's not much of a difference even between divisions. It could be worse - I heard a commentator the other night say that Rosenborg have won the Norwegian league 12 years in a row. Presumably with the CL cash they get they are now in a position where no one will ever challenge them domestically. The Champions League has gone a long way to killing competition in national leagues all over Europe, as the "haves" pull further and further away from the "have nots". Oh well. That's TV for you !

* It is worth pointing out that Chelsea were so badly run by Bates that they were within a day of going into administration before Abramovich rode in. Maybe one day he'll get bored and pull the rug out - we can only hope.


Blogger The Camel said...

The thing which sprung immediately to mind while reading your post was the correlation between the effect of tv on football and poker.

While buyins get ever bigger, the only players who seem to be prospering (apart from the winners) are the players who have sponsorship.

Several of the sponsored players are decidedly moderate (Clonie Gowan, Ron Rose, Andy Bloch, Phil Gordon and Evelyn Ng for example) yet are famous for one good tournament performance in the early days of televised poker. Like the teams who make all the Champions League money, they have the advantage of being backed so financial issues are not a problem and they can play all the televised events and hence give themselves the chance of another good performance and more sponsorship money!

La di da.

8:40 PM  

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