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Coming Up... Exactly the Same

By Dawson Boyle :  03/01/2008 :  Comments (46) :

Being a man of limited hobbies, I have spent an unnatural amount of time watching Sky Sports News over Christmas, an experience I would liken to watching an advertising hoarding for a product you have little or no interest, in the vain hope it might suddenly burst into life and dish out free chocolate bars or a holiday.

Everton coverage is typically extremely limited. Besides the (very) occasional signing, or news from the training ground on the eve of a game, the inner workings of Everton Football Club are generally tumbled together in the homogenous mass of teams outside the ?Big Four? ? itself a Sky Sports created moniker, presumably invented to describe any team who requires more than one sweatshop in Cambodia to fulfil their replica shirt quotas, or whose own self importance has inflated to such an extent that they require Gangsta? Rap style prefixes to feel important amongst their peers. As the current league table attests, the name has absolutely no relation to league position.

Although other areas of the press are equally culpable, Sky Sports seems to epitomise the trend of giving a disproportionate amount of airtime to this self-styled elite. It seems every time Alex Ferguson makes a passing remark about the state of education in this country, or his favourite place to buy scotch pies, his horrible creaking features are beamed in a never-ending loop heralding another world exclusive: ?Fergie: Rio Ferdinand is the working man?s Jane Austen,? ?Sir Alex: All young men over the age of sixteen should be made to visit Manchester United?s megastore,? etc, etc, etc?

Fabio Capello?s recent comments about ?Grand Slam Sunday?, when the four teams met, was further shocking proof of Sky?s dominance over our footballing psyches. The Italian?s next squad selection should be painfully easy, given that all English football was so neatly packaged into a single day's viewing. Makes you wonder why the other teams bother?

This could be construed as a mild annoyance. Why don?t I just simply turn the television off and do something less boring instead? But the importance the media places on these teams has created a separate, far more devastating phenomenon, that came into being a few Januarys ago and has since become the norm ever since the transfer window came into being: The January smash and grab.

The phenomenon may or may not have started in Spain, but has been adopted by the ?big four? to mesmerising effect. It starts with mild rumblings around September in some of the less desirable red top newspapers, hinting that your star player may be unsettled in the area or on the lookout for a ?fresh challenge.? A month later the stories are appearing in all the newspapers, broadsheets and tabloids alike, though are quickly quashed by the players themselves: ?I love the team, I couldn?t be happier.? In November quotes appear from the player?s agent saying he is ?flattered? by the interest and come December the snowball is uncontrollable, with terms being agreed with the player despite no ?direct contact? and mock ups being made of what he might look like when he makes his Chelsea debut.

These stories must come from somewhere, yet ?tapping-up?, which they effectively are, remains illegal and an unwanted crisis in a game already haunted by corruption. Who can ever forget the transfer window when that fat kid went to Manchester United? Stories had appeared as early as the summer although no official offer was made until the day before. At the time we blamed the agent. Scumbag though he was, aren?t the media partly responsible? If they didn?t broadcast this speculation, if transfer stories were confined to official press releases and the nonsense was isolated to their rightful place ? the internet forums ? would this not immediately end the shady business of poaching? Players move clubs, but why do we need all the deceit? Played out in a media that should never be partisan, but appears nothing more than the lap dog of a few megalomaniacal clubs.

Today, on none other than Sky Sports News, I watched a shell-shocked Juande Ramos batter back questions about how long it would be before his contracted player went to a ?bigger? club. This came at the end of weeks of incessant speculation about Berbatov moving despite no bid being tabled or any interest officially stated. The machine has already begun to do the job on our own Mikel Arteta. The signs are already looking painfully familiar. How can you fight when you don?t know what you?re fighting?

In two weeks, or at best, the end of the season, Dimitar Berbatov will be playing for one of the self-styled ?Big Four.? Every Evertonian must be praying the same fate does not await our own. Let?s nip this speculation in the bud and ask for a bit more transparency from our players, clubs, agents and reporters alike. Football will be all the better for it?

Reader Comments

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Lyndon Lloyd
Editorial Team
1   Posted 03/01/2008 at 23:42:21

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Very nicely written, Dawson, and accurately summarised. I recall sitting through the whole hour listening to the tedious droning by two of those boringly attractive but banal presenters that Sky Sports love so much in the vain hope of seeing some coverage or reaction of our fourth win in Uefa Cup Group A.

Of course, there was no mention made except for the scoreline and group table in the looping information block on the right-hand side of the screen. Now, granted we’d already won the group before kicking a ball that evening but had Manchester United’s second string achieved such a feat, you can be sure Sky would have been all over it.

You’re right; it shouldn’t be as annoying as it is but the whole direction in which football is heading is very worrying. The vast expanses of empty seats every fortnight at The Riverside, the JJB Stadium and Ewood Park — none of which are big stadia to begin with — are incredibly distressing. It just sometimes feels as though those clubs don’t matter as long as they’re making up the numbers... and were it not for a certain Mr Moyes and our famously masochistic fans, we’d be in the same boat.
Tom Campbell
2   Posted 03/01/2008 at 23:58:39

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Ya i agree but what im worried about is will these "masochistic fans" come every week if we move to Kirby????
Kevin Sparke
3   Posted 04/01/2008 at 00:12:08

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Excellent - could not agree more Dawson
Roy Coyne
4   Posted 04/01/2008 at 04:50:05

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Spot on, Dawson, only the other day a couple of kids outside our house playing football with their Chelsea and Utd tops on, as I was going out I asked wheres our shirts or even the other lot and the reply was "Youse and da pool 'ave never won the Prem". Its as if they are brainwashed into the concept sky invented football (please excuse the quote as I have tried to give an accurate quote)
Arthur Jones
5   Posted 04/01/2008 at 04:41:22

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A great article Dawson and very true. Sky do have a habit of telling us how great the "top 4 " are but they couldn?t gloss over the fact that in last years Champions League 3 british semi finalists and that must have hurt, ha. Leaving coverage of the Uefa Cup to C5 is criminal, if one of the "big 4" were ever to drop into this ?abyss? you can bet they would be shown. Re the panic in 2005 when we finished 4th and the rules were changed to accomodate the RS. This season they?ve missed Ossie?s goal against Larrisa, a superb goal. If Ronaldo, Rooney or Lampard had scored that one......... oh yes don?t get me started on Charlie waste of space Nicholas! And his idiot comments about Everton and Man Cit , how I?m going to enjoy watching him squirm when he?s proved wrong !!!
Peter Pridgeon
6   Posted 04/01/2008 at 07:01:20

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Good article Dawson.
Further to this brain washing we are seeing; I live in New Zealand and in this Rugby obsessed nation we rely heavily on Sky for premiership football and ESPN for C/L Uefa Cup, from the beginning of the season until the new year starts there is a fair spread of football, I may watch Everton every week for a month and then miss two weeks and we get them again three weeks on the trot. After New Year though its the Sky big four and the only way we get to see Everton is if we play one of them.
Television New Zealand carries Premiership news highlights on its flagship One News program, this is during the sport section, however unless its big four (or Ryan Nelson winning the game for Blackburn Rovers) forget it.
The rot is spreading, I compare this to the fanfare Everton received in new Zealand on their historic visit to New Zealand as champions in 1987 and it sickens me.
I was asked by an admittedly rugby fanatic which English team I support, expecting Man U or the RS I replied Everton, he said and what division do they play.
Santosh Benjamin
7   Posted 04/01/2008 at 07:48:03

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Its the same here in India...where a cricket crazy nation is getting hooked onto the Premier League.The channel that shows games is ESPN-STAR sports but as you all may have guessed,the live games are almost always the Man Utd,Chelsea,RS or Arse games even if they are playing a crap team.
Even the other football shows on the channel focus mainly on these teams and have mainly offensive things to say about Everton(if they even mention us!).The highlights of the games also show us for like 10 seconds.I deal with it coz i have no choice but it sickens me each time i see it.
Christine Foster
8   Posted 04/01/2008 at 07:51:42

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Excellent and very well written piece Dawson. The bottom line with Sky is simple, Marketing hype. Money. Power. They create the hype on their media and thereby control the news which in turn creates more money. Yet the STUPID thing Sky miss is that they could create the hype around the whole division except of course that would go against vested interests and contractual obligations made to the "Big Four" (you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours)
Here in Australia we get EVERY Everton game every week on Fox sports. Because they are trying to promote the sport in this country.Just about every game is viewed on digital cable with individual choice of match to watch. Now, this service comes FROM Sky Sports in the UK, so tell me, Why it isn’t available in the UK?
Because they don’t wish to do it. Because that might mean not as many fans watch the "Big Four" and marketing revenue will fall. Cynical? no, just plain power and greed.
On a little note though, what happens WHEN Everton break the dominance, will we be a club " Punching above its weight?" Or lucky? or will it suddenly be the Top Six..
Jip Foster
9   Posted 04/01/2008 at 08:50:13

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Could the players sue the newspapers for slander / liable (which ever it is for printed) if they falsely link them with other clubs? Or even the clubs themselves sue the papers by printing a made up rumour... although I agree it may be difficult - but if one club tried, even if it failed, it may sent out a warning signal.
It is after all supposed to be called Sky Sports NEWS not Sky Sports Rumours - hell could we take a class action against them under the trade descriptions act? ;)
Dean Johnson
10   Posted 04/01/2008 at 09:08:14

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You should all move to Holland.

Sport 1 here is brilliant. ALL Premiership games to choose from EVERY week. No pseudo-future graphics, no endless stats, and get this... NO ADVERTS!
The commentators actually say the name of the player who has the ball instead of rabbiting on about nothing, then they’ll bring out a quote in english like "it’s a game of 2 halves" or "there’s nothing wrong with you" and it’s classic.

Half times are just chock full of other football highlights that you may have missed.

So every single Everton game, I get to watch, in full, with no sky self-obsessed bullshit accompanying it. So no bias, no "big four" crap, just equal coverage throughout. I recommend it
Chris Briddon
11   Posted 04/01/2008 at 09:17:42

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Christine - The service you mention will never be available in England as the rules state they aren’t allowed to show live games at 3pm on Saturday afternoons, the theory being that live footy on TV will reduce attendances at other games - particularly those of lower clubs.

SKY show extended highlights of these games in an evening when you can pick the game of your choice.

As for the ’Big 4’ well I hate to point this out but over the last 10 years or so, no one else has one any major trophies & that is what attracts supporters & media coverage. They are called the big 4 because (with 1 very notable exception) they have finished in the top 4 of the prem consistently for the last few years and are the teams competing for the major trophies.
TO be globally succesful, you have to win things. Re- the guy who mentioned Everton’s visit to New Zealand - well at the time we had won the title twice in 3 years so we were one of the big clubs - that’s how you change the mentality - by winning things
Dave Trudgeon
12   Posted 04/01/2008 at 09:26:53

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Dean, I definately want to move to Holland.
And Jip, I think Gerrard sued a paper for saying he wanted to move to Chelsea but I'm not sure.
Stephen Davies
13   Posted 04/01/2008 at 09:28:46

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Sky are a bussiness. There main priority is to make money. They are focusing there ad campaigns on the "big 4" because that’s who the majority support. Arm chair fans are fickle and tend to follow success.

If ourselves or City rose to eminence as a club from outside the commercial 4 these firnge fans would be lead away from the breakthrough club. for example if we finish above Liverpool this season the campaign wouldn’t be based on Everton’s success but Liverpool’s demise. The media would portray it as a fluke, Liverpool throwing it away, Everton in the right place at the right time and so on.

It would be very unlikely for this to change, unless one of the "elite" fail consistently for 4 or 5 seasons pragmaticaly i can’t see it changing.

I’ve noticed Setanta have portrayed a more balanced view of the league and have decided to shy away from the nonsense of Sky, and i think true fans appreciate it.

I was at a friend’s house when we played United away. Imagine a stereotype of Sky’s target audience, well thats him. The sort to ring you for spares on derby day but he’s alright for the rest of the season because he’s got match choice. I asked him to put the match and he told me he didn’t have Setanta, I asked him why not? He replied " I’m not Paying for that they only put the shite matches on". I think that sums it up really. I know Setanta are a new channel but if they flashed the same commercial drivel as sky i’m sure they would be alot more popular...
Will Mitchell
14   Posted 04/01/2008 at 10:24:43

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If there were a breakaway of the big money clubs to a European ?super? league, perhaps, free from the media-commercial complex, football would once again flourish and we?d be rid of the shite forever?
Dean Johnson
15   Posted 04/01/2008 at 11:03:41

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That would be nice. The Uefa seedings are as such though that they are designed to keep the "biggest" teams in the "biggest" competitions.

Could you imagine though, if they all broke away, there would be uproar, but then again, we?d probably just be English - complain and then just pay the money anyway :-)
Patty Beesley
16   Posted 04/01/2008 at 11:24:34

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And have you noticed how much coverage our fat pal, Rafe Benetiz, gets on Sky Sports... he?s on virtually every night just when I am having my evening meal..... its enough to put you off your grub!!! But then the RS are one of the big four not a small club like us!!
Thorgeir Finnsson
17   Posted 04/01/2008 at 11:34:35

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Re Dean: It’s the same here in Iceland, believe it or not! We can choose from all the games every week! Except when it’s more than 6 games at the same time, in that case the least attracting game isn’t shown. Very good service indeed.
Dean Johnson
18   Posted 04/01/2008 at 12:01:22

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Quite so Thorgeir, I think it?s hilarious that the football coverage gets better, the further away from the UK you are!!

The Oldham game "might" be on here at the weekend http://livefooty.doctor-serv.com/

That?s the place I go if I can?t see the match on Sport 1 - not the best stream, but still watchable I reckon
Thorgeir Finnsson
19   Posted 04/01/2008 at 12:05:10

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My favorite stream to. If it doesn’t work i try http://myp2p.eu. Hope to find the game somewhere tomorrow, because the cups don’t get as much coverage as the league here, so of course the so called "big 4" are on.
Mick Simo
20   Posted 04/01/2008 at 12:24:12

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Spot on mate, I have been banging on about this for years, it really is a conspiracy by Sky to keep these four clubs at the top, free world wide advertisement, top to bottom coverage if Whisky face farts and remember Sky tried to buy into Man United a few years ago. I phoned into that other bollocks 606 a few months ago and was ridiculed when I brought up many of the points mentioned. These four teams and sky need to brought up for creating a monoply, they set all the agendas, more coverage than the the rest of the premiere league and in doing so prevent other clubs from breaking this monoply. Bastards
Greg Murphy
21   Posted 04/01/2008 at 12:37:14

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Spot-on Dawson. Also Will Mitchell. Tell yer, even two years ago I’d never have endorsed such a view as that I’m about to make. But I’ve listened and listened to so many Blues - and indeed other fans outside of the Big Four Bore - and I’m gradually coming round to the view that we’d be better off without the B4. The whole Sky/G14 debate etc etc.

If we did slice away, it would be a major test for us, as fans, and we’d all suffer short term probably. But at the same time I could happily do without this whole B4 crap.

And as we keep getting told by Utd, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool (did I get it in the right order?) fans they don’t need us.

Bring it on, then.
David Marsden
22   Posted 04/01/2008 at 12:39:59

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Its simply don’t buy SKY, don’t buy gossip papers. People moan abut the media but its us who control the content by buying it. We have the power for the change, if only we had the conviction!!
Graham Eaves
23   Posted 04/01/2008 at 12:42:59

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Great piece Dawson, I totally agree with everything. The amounts of times I’ve been watching and I hear ’And we’ll be looking at Everton...’ or ’Going to Goodison’ or whatever and then all you get is some lamearse nothingness....
Also to Arthur Jones RE Osmans Larissa goal - totally know where you’re coming from. It was truely one of the best worked goals I’ve seen from anyone let alone Everton and it was’t mentioned anywhere. Had the same discussion with my mates and it’s true, if it was Lampard, Gerrard, Ronaldo, Fabregas etc it would’ve been repeated on Sky for 4 days with quotes such as ’And Rooney(or the like) scores wondergoal, contender for goal of the season...’ makes me sick, some of my ardent football mates had not even seen it. Same could be said for his goal against Sunderland. He ran from the halfway line, beat 4/5 players easily, ran into the box and slotted a perfect goal!
Patty Beesley
24   Posted 04/01/2008 at 12:52:20

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David - its all very well saying don?t buy Sky but I live in Carmarthen - four hours motoring both ways to Liverpool and back to Carmarthen again. Much I wish I lived on the borders of Liverpool and had a season ticket, I don?t and therefore have to pick the games I attend at GP. As a working housewife I cannot afford to follow the team every weekend neither can I afford to, so I do have to rely on Sky Sports First Plus in order to see our boys.
Ben Dyson
25   Posted 04/01/2008 at 12:41:47

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I find the best way of watching Sky Sports News is to turn the sound down and crack one off whenever Georgie Thompson is on. Nurse! Where’s the Kleenex? When it comes down to it most of the "news stories" on Sky Sports News are just advertising for what’s coming up on the subscription channels. I’m not sure that Sky are the only media concern that are focused on the big four. Look at any newspaper or even the BBC and you’ll see the same bias to the big four. Recently the Guardian (forgive me for not ridding myself of those middle-class-Guardian-reading-wanker tendencies)dedicated the whole of the front page of its sport section to Peter "The Human Crane Fly" Crouch moaning about how he shouldn’t have been sent off while an Everton victory the night before merited about 2 inches of column space hidden away at the bottom of page 8. The BBC’s sport coverage in its news programmes will spend 10 minutes on how Frank Lampard stubbed his toe but will only give a 5 second mention to an Everton victory in Europe. And the BBC is supposed to be a public service without and bias, commercially or otherwise.
Ben Dyson
26   Posted 04/01/2008 at 13:21:22

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Oops. Last sentence should read: "any bias".
Ed Fitzgerald
27   Posted 04/01/2008 at 12:56:05

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David

You are spot on the problem is SKY the idea that media globalisation of our national game is a good thing is wrong it is not even benign. I am sorry but for those of you watching unlimited choice of footie on the cheap in Iceland, OZ or wherever you should find a local team to support. If you are in exile then I have some empathy but you did choose to live there. The whole SKY bandwagon has priced many supporters out of the game and will make football increasingly become the preserve of the middle classes. Those at home and abroad rely upon the mugs who can still just afford to go, to provide the atmosphere and make it real! for the viewing millions. There is too much football on television, the model in the UK is not sustainable it has driven tickets prices, wages etc through the roof. I am not a luddite and expect some football to be televised globally and nationally but the illusion that it is good for the development of the game in the UK is a fallacy.It is corporate football predictable in its outcomes and rather bland. The Germans seem to have a more sustainable vision of football with appropriate ticket pricing and commensurate crowds and atmosphere.
Ferguson was moaning this week about a lack of noise at OT what does he expect it is a product no longer a passion.

Derby Game of the future?

Starbucks Rangers of Liverpool Vs Tesco Warriors of Knowsley

Laughable or is it? what Evertonian would have believed five years ago that we would ever left the city of liverpool,
The game of football has gone mad as have many of its supporters who desire success at any price
Tom Davies
28   Posted 04/01/2008 at 13:28:14

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What really pisses me off is that in Europe they can see all of our games for free in most places and when the pubs here try to use those channels they’re’s a chance they could get raided for it.

Instead of sharing rooms with prostitutes and snorting devils dandruff, they need to be making it fair for everyone. They should sell all the match rights to 1 channel and with todays technology that magic red button can be pressed to view whichever game the viewer wishes. Everyone would buy it, including all the pubs and many homes.

That has to be better than paying for Sky, Setanta and Aljazeera to see your match once every so often.
Tony Horne
29   Posted 04/01/2008 at 13:47:08

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Today’s ’breaking news’ on the BBC Football website:-

Manchester United do not sell a second choice defender to Newcastle.

Says it all.............
Neil McKinney
30   Posted 04/01/2008 at 13:52:51

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There’s no point harping on about these Euro channels that show all our games for free. It’s all to do with exclusivity FFS!!!

Sky/Setanta and the BBC have paid a king’s ransom for the exclusive right to show live games or first show of highlights (BBC). Why would they pay this money (which in turn is fed to clubs) if we could just tune in the free Scandinavian channel and watch any game for free! It’s not a fucking conspiracy!!

There is no doubt that there is generally more air time given to "The Big 4" and, like any other fan of a club outside of this "elite", it pisses me off. However, I understand that it is all about business and money. The Big 4 generally are the more widely supported clubs (not necessarily I know, but save a couple of exceptions) due to success, they are generally the ones winning things and they are generally the ones buying the big name players. We don’t want to hear about it, but many thousands do, and Sky don’t give a toss whether they are "real fans" or not.

I would have thought that there is a similar problem with UEFA Cup action. I don’t know if anyone’s noticed, but Sky do not cover UEFA Cup games. Therefore, I presume that they must pay to use other peoples coverage (ie Five). If this is correct then it is no wonder that we see more CL goals (which Sky have rights to) than UEFA Cup. All the Big 4 are in CL, so what a surprise that we see those goals over and over.

I agree with a lot of the points made above, but when you look at it logically it makes sense. I don’t like having to hear about it everytime Ferguson scratches his arse, but I do think that generally Sky have done a good job.

I also think that if people check into how often each team has appeared live on Sky they would be surprised. I want to see every Everton game (that I can’t go to) on TV, but I’d rather watch Man U vs Arsenel than Derby vs Fulham. Wouldn’t you?

COYB!!
Chris Briddon
31   Posted 04/01/2008 at 14:25:37

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Neil - you are spot on. And as for the ’Setanta aren’t like that’ arguement earlier. Well Setanta are presently bitter about their football package, cos SKY have all the big games and they are left with mainly mediocre football games to show. It isn’t by choice, Setanta would love to show Man Utd v Liverpool etc but they can’t cos its not in their package.

The ’big 4’ ar ethe big 4 because they win trophies and have more supporters than the other clubs. Therefore the media are going to show more of them because thats who the public want to see.

Similar to Eastenders etc - I may think its rubbish but a lot of people want to watch it hence its regularity on TV
Dean Johnson
32   Posted 04/01/2008 at 13:53:38

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Ed

Are you saying that because we are completely removed from the Sky monopoly and the blind loyalty that makes you pay all that money every week, that we are less of a blue than you?

Are we not allowed to move away from our towns just so that we remain a "true blue"?

You?ll be telling me to vote bnp soon :-)
Patty Beesley
33   Posted 04/01/2008 at 15:23:22

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Chris - You call Everton v Arsenal a mediocre game - that was shown on Sentana
Ed Fitzgerald
34   Posted 04/01/2008 at 15:21:11

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Dean


I dont and wont pay for Sky for the reasons stated but I have paid for my season tickets for over thirty years and followed them away for the majoirity of those years when I can afford it. I also paid for my sons season ticket for twenty years, so yes I do think I have more of a right to talk about Everton than you do. I am not telling you to vote for anything. But to quote you from a different thread

Liverpool the most insular city in the UK
I am glad I dont live there

Jog your memory?

So Why the fuck I am going to listen to or value your views in comparison to Evertonians who turn up every single week.
Neil McKinney
35   Posted 04/01/2008 at 15:19:16

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Eastenders, of course, what a good example Chris. Why didn’t I think of that?

Another point about Sky, at least for your money you get a professional set up. I know you have to subscribe (and I haven’t had the pleasure of watching a game on Setanta yet) but at least you don’t get John Barnes dithering his way through the pre-match and constantly looking into the wrong camera, or "pitchside" with Townsend and McCoist. Amateur night!!

Don’t get me wrong, every chanel has its idiot pundits, especially Sky, but generally their reporting is slick, informative and professional and, as someone above mentioned, usually delivered by at least one good looking presenter.

£9.99 per month for the crap they are dishing up on Setanta is pathetic! Bring back Prem Plus.

COYB!
Steve Green
36   Posted 04/01/2008 at 15:47:31

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Ed, you have the benefit of location. That’s all. To claim you have more of a right to talk about our great club simply by dint of geography is nothing short of parochial and extremely arrogant. Not to mention insulting to a great many of us, for whom getting to Goodison is a once a year thing or even more infrequent. I’d suggest you treat ex-pats and Blues from other countries with a little more respect if you want your views accorded the same.
ian gulliford
37   Posted 04/01/2008 at 15:59:23

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its classic sky biase.
we didnt feature once on sky during december yet teams like blackburn and dervby were both on TWICE in the space of a week!

typical example,versus arsenal i listend to it on 5live and we were all over them as we all know.
SSN half time report....everton doing well to stifle arsenal and supress their passing game??!!! WTF.

i hate the way keys salivates about GRAND SLAM SUNDAY,strange how a random computer sets out the seasons fixtures...what are the odds that that really happens?

Sky despite great coverage irritate the hell out of me the way the league has been devalued by them
Ben Howard
38   Posted 04/01/2008 at 13:23:38

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Repeat story DNP -- Archived MK

_____

I've just reading Andy Gray's analysis of the season so far. I've got to say that the blatant lack of even a mention of our club's good name got me so angry that I was compelled to comment in reply (something I'd never normally do on SkySports!). http://www.skysports.com/experts/expert_story/0,19793,12064_2995004,00.html The problem was that their website is horseshit and would allow me to post, so I'm afraid I'm burdening my good friends of Toffeeweb instead! What is it with the media's blatant refusal to acknowledge the resurgence of Everton under David Moyes? We're currently competing in four competitions. We're in 6th place in the league (3 points away from 4th), we've stormed through the group stages of the UEFA cup, taking maximum points along the way and beating an AZ Alkmaar side that hadn't been beaten at home in Europe for 31 games! We've a semi-final in the Carling Cup to look forward to and the 3rd round of the FA Cup this weekend. I believe we're playing the most attractive football I've seen from Everton since the 80s. Yet, certain pundits choose to ignore us. This isn't sour grapes. I don't mean to take anything away from the achievements of Sven, 'Arry and Sparky, who have all done particularly well this season - admittedly the team Sven inherited is not the one that we see now after heavy investment but he has done well to hang onto the star (Richards) and get them playing well as a team so quickly. Andy Gray, an ex-Everton player, must be aware that arguably the most horrific refereeing blunder came in the Merseyside Derby from a certain Mr Clattenburg yet feels it acceptable to say, "there are some very good ones (referees) in the Premier League - like Mark Clattenburg who is generally good. I find the lack of acknowledgment from certain people in the media flabbergasting to say the very least and wonder whether fans from other clubs have noticed this? After all, Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean there not out to get you...

Ed Fitzgerald
39   Posted 04/01/2008 at 16:02:58

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Steve

I am sorry if I offend you but actually being there makes a difference. Our great club? who is the club? the supporters who turn up and pay, without the insane knobheads (Dean) like us, there is no club for you to view. The leadership and management at EFC treat the people who are its core support with contempt (ask anyone who deals with the box office). I know many Blues who do travel from across the UK and abroad to watch Everton so I have no issue of where you are from, but actually going to the match gives you an insight that watching at home does not. Do you disagree with this statement? Dont football clubs rely on the loyalty of their core support?

Dean I could respond to your stereotyping of me as a person with no hobbies and little intelligence, but I am not going to give you the satisfaction. What upset you ?Having your bigoted attitude towards the City of Liverpool being repeated? It is you that are insular because you presume that anyone who is passionate about their City and their football club must be a skinhead, lacking in education and nationalistic. The whole point of my response was that SKY are ruining the game of football for the supporter who attends. It is those of us who attend who have to endure crazy kick off times, hikes in prices structures.
Is the paying fan not allowed to object to changes?

Anyway Dean I had better get on with some work for my Doctoral thesis, rather than argue with you, I will leave it you whether i am taking the piss or not
Jonny Mac
40   Posted 04/01/2008 at 16:40:29

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I don?t care if were not all over Sky Sports News lads infact I prefer not to get covered on it!! let them cover "The Big Four" all they want we?ll stay out the limelight and carry on what were doin!!! Nothin worse than gettin a load of coverage just go about it like we have all season quitely!! The way were goin they?ll have to cover us more next season when were playin champions league football so we?ll have the last laugh then !!! Sayin that am sure them horrible rats over the park?ll av an excuse to get themselves back in it?s been done before!!!
Mick Mc
41   Posted 04/01/2008 at 17:41:49

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I think common sense tells you that the most succesful teams will get most of the limelight, thats a fact of life, but I it is the sparse coverage teams like Everton get, I am not going to go on having a rant, but I think if SKY had an hour or so a night just spending a few minutes on each club or if its is a big news story a bit longer, but like someone said if Fergie farts it gets blanket coverage, this is the thing which is starting to bug people. Sky have a strong hold throughout the world and teams like RS and Manure have millions of fans throughout the globe so sky will squeeze every second they can out of these clubs. Remember though a word of wisdom what goes around comes around call it karma but I believe one day all them greedy bastards will pay for that greed mark my words good day blue boys
Daniel Devine
42   Posted 04/01/2008 at 19:21:13

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Exactly right! I always thought that people thought Everton were the team were expected to be relegated over and over again, during each season in the 90’s! But we wer not, so people just forget about us! Now we must get known again, and not put down at everyturn. But I still want Everton to remain a club that is labelled as underdogs and not become famous, just known! Becuase for me, that is the Everon way.
des farren
43   Posted 04/01/2008 at 20:17:16

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An excellent and informative article.I thought Sky did invent football as I cannot recall them showing anything pre-premiership..
Lee Smith
44   Posted 05/01/2008 at 12:35:54

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Say what you want about Sky Sports News coverage, but it was quality a moment ago! Merson absolutely ripping the piss out of Phil Thompson for thinking Liverpool could still win the league. Got pretty heated and Merson was winding him up big time saying they should be more worried about making top 4 rather than winning it. Thompson was biting left right and centre. lol.
Dennis Stevens
45   Posted 05/01/2008 at 20:37:45

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Quite simply - if you don?t support one of the "big 4" why would you wish to buy sky, etc. ??
If people stop buying it then they?ll have to address the nature of their product.
Stephen Miller
46   Posted 05/01/2008 at 22:00:01

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With regard to Sky promoting the RS as part of the ’big 4’. Just remembering who owns Sky and some of the outrageous slander this company has committed against the city by this mans favourite redtop.

If thats who the RS want promoting them, well, they’re beyond redemption.

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