What goes up most come down. . . except in the world of Premiership football, of course. But what about bringing the prices DOWN now that the money, yet again, is UP?
The richest league on earth continues to operate somewhere outside of everyone else’s reality. A new TV deal astonishingly worth £1 billion a year from 2013 will keep the fantasy football flowing. Such a great big dollop of news couldn’t even be buried under the drama of the Euros.
Say what you like about Richard Scudamore, pictured below, that man is damn good at his job. Not only is he brilliant at promoting his paymasters’ product (much as I hate that word), he can also claim with every justification that the wealthiest league on the planet is also clearly the best.
Where I draw breath, rather than gasp in admiration, is over what the clubs will do with their new treasure chest. Along with what goes up, here’s a couple of things we’d all like to see go down:
1. Players’ wages.
2. Admission prices.
Of course, there’s not a chance in hell. But why ever not? Besides being morally indefensible, the next wage explosion - tipped by some to peak at a nauseating £350,000 a week - will fly in the face of what football as a whole is trying to achieve.
All but 20 of our 92 professional clubs are being ordered to tighten their belts after years of reckless overspending in pursuit of the dream. Adding to the agony is that the temptation to reach out for that crock of gold at the end of the rainbow has never been greater.
Surely the Premier League should exercise some duty of care for their lesser brethren. Think of the positive PR spin if nothing else.
So here in my ivory tower is what I’d like to see the Premiership do with its latest cash bonanza. Simply put: Reward the customers rather than the players, who already have it all.
Top football in England is an increasingly expensive item. It means a sort of middle-class fan base has been created at some of the elite clubs, distancing the game further from its traditional roots.
Not all ground are full all of the time. But there is no reason why that should not be the case. What a statement that would be - Premier League football; not a seat left in the house.
And how can they finance pegging and reducing those prices? Easy - just freeze the players’ pay.
As I said, it will never ever happen. Doesn’t mean it shouldn’t...