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The Mail Bag

Top clubs consider overseas games

Comments (45)

"At a meeting in London on Thursday, all 20 clubs agreed to explore a proposal to extend the season to 39 games.

Those 10 extra games would be played at venues around the world, with cities bidding for the right to stage them. It is understood the additional fixtures could be determined by a draw but that the top-five teams could be seeded to avoid playing each other."

WTF, even if this did happen and as stated the points would go towards the league, then why have a seeding system so the top five dont meet each other? Utter greed.

This is the day I pack in and find something else to do of a saturday? Does anyone else think this stinks to high heaven?
Alan Codd, Liverpool     Posted 07/02/2008 at 13:05:39

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Lyndon Lloyd
I had the same initial reaction as yourself, Alan. From the perspective of the clubs at the top of the table, it makes sense because it would be unfair if Everton drew another top four side like Manchester United while Liverpool got the team bottom of the table. But if you're in the relegation zone I'm guessing there won't be reverse seeding to make sure that, for example, the 18th-placed team doesn't get Chelsea while the 17th-placed team gets the 19th-placed team! But while there's money to be made...
Lee Cooper
1   Posted 07/02/2008 at 14:15:50

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I'm a blue now living in Boston, I see the games when I'm over for the holidays, however I'd love to see the Blues play on this side of the pond! Am I a bad Evertonian? If the big 4 are doing it and making bags of cash, what are our options if we need to compete?
Colin Tunstall
2   Posted 07/02/2008 at 16:38:26

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So all the Prem clubs have voted in favour of playing an extra game each season in an overseas country.This will`help sell the brand` they tell us and should result in £squillions extra income accruing to clubs, players and, no doubt, the Wynesses of the game.

Quite what it has to offer the `ordinary speccy` isn`t spelt out but WTF is it to do with us, anyway?

Tom Carter
3   Posted 07/02/2008 at 17:41:29

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As if fans did'nt have enough to pay for, all 20 clubs have agreed to have another game added on to the 38 to make it 39 a season OVERSEAS, how on earth do they think fans can afford to do this.
Mick Dempsey
4   Posted 07/02/2008 at 18:44:23

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Who is behind this shit, Sky and the so called big 3 (4 Everton but were not behind it)
Paul Niklas
5   Posted 07/02/2008 at 18:44:35

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So how is it fair that a team potentially fighting relegation or fighting for europe, could have the disadvantage of playing one of the top 3, 3 times.

This is ludicrous and would make a mockery of the league.

Alan Wilson
6   Posted 07/02/2008 at 18:44:20

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If it has to be done (and it is too bad that decisions like this are taken because the ’product’ has made all the money it can from its initial ’buyers’), then it would be worth considering a play-off style arrangement whereby 1st plays 10th, 2nd plays 19th and so on. This would mean there would be something at stake (Fulham beat Arsenal in New York to avoid the drop and deprive the Gunners of the title), but it would be unlikely that the outcome of the regular 38 game season would be seriously distorted.
Keith Glazzard
7   Posted 07/02/2008 at 18:47:51

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Oh come on now. Who would deny Mr Clattenberg another chance to travel to an away game with his old RS mates.

This idea is a bag of shite. The opening game of the season? The last? Where in between? First 5 seeded - why not fist 10? From last season’s table or - when? - Feb 1st .... etc. A fucking mockery.
Paul Niklas
8   Posted 07/02/2008 at 18:49:25

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No title would have been decided they are playing the extra game in January.

Its just for money nothing else.

They are looking to achieve 10% more revenue with this farce.

My maths tell me based on Everton profit to sales/sponsorship revenue it would be worth about 500k tops.

This will pay about one third of a top flight players salary.

Therefore gone in one foul swoop if you make the squad any bigger.

even if it was revenue straight to the bottom line which it never is it might make us 3 million.

Two players wages. thats after you have found the money to buy them.

Does not stack up for me.

Paul Niklas
9   Posted 07/02/2008 at 19:03:56

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Wigan v Middlesboro in las vegas, cant wait.

Blackburn v Charlton in Beijing.

Crystal palace v Reading in New York.

They will be flocking in their thousands wont they.

These lot cant even bring 3,000 to an away game here.
Ray Robinson
10   Posted 07/02/2008 at 19:15:27

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By the time this half-baked idea comes in we may be in Kirkby and the city of Liverpool might bid to host an Everton game!
Ric Wallace
11   Posted 07/02/2008 at 19:04:09

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Sorry but I have to strongly disagree with Lee Cooper above.
Can I make the point straight away that I mean no offence to Lee when I make this comment, so Lyndon or Michael can you just make sure I don’t stray off track.

Sorry Lee , you could be the biggest Evertonian I’ve ever meet but I still wouldn’t want Everton coming over to the USA just to simply suit your viewing needs.

You made a choice when you moved to the USA I’m sure, that you would still support Everton (like any true Evertonian) but you would sacrifice going to live games for a new life abroad.

It’s a very weak argument to say it’s another method of competing by going abroad but you’ve shot yourself in the foot. If the Big 4 (hate that term) go abroad .. surely they will get richer and the gap won’t be closed but at the most maintained?
It’s a huge farce that this proposal has been considered by the money-grabbing chairman of the Premier League Clubs.

Tell me why the likes of Middlesbrough and Portsmouth think they will attract a big crowd when they play against each other in a foreign country? The answer is they won’t! It’s shocking that these kinds of chairman are so blinkered in their views that they will listen to these proposals when they should know full well it could spell the end for their clubs.

Fans abroad in these countries will want to watch a Big 4 team play someone. It could be Everton, Newcastle, Sunderland etc. Makes no difference to them.

I know it sounds like doom-mongering but it will be true. If we have 1 match abroad what will stop them having anymore? There won’t be!

This is a fairly abstract comparision but it was once said about Nazi Germany that "you only had to watch Himmler (2nd in command) to know what Hitler is thinking".

Over here, you only have to watch the NFL to know the Premier League is thinking. If the NFL can get more matches abroad then we know damn well the Premier League will too!

I feel angered by Lee’s comments when I try to put the situation in context.
We have Evertonians living in the city of Liverpool who can’t afford to go to the match once every month, let alone weekly.
With ticket prices on the increase that will decrease.

Why, if a fan here can’t afford to go to a match do the club ignore them? Why do fans abroad deserve to have Everton football club waiting on them hand and foot when back in England and in the city Everton are treating its homegrown fans like throwaway luxuries.

We won’t sit around forever and let this happen. Can’t they see this? Football wasn’t created to made a business out of, and the leaders of the clubs still underestimate the power the fans hold.

Yes, I know that directly the club don’t rely on us, as in ticket revenue, anymore due to the TV money but indirectly we are still in control of our clubs. We are shareholders, we actually fill the stadium so the players have someone actually watching them.

And most importantly, we have the power to say where the club puts it stadium- look at Kirkby and how we are being hounded out of their by the residents of the town where there lives many Evertonians!

It might sound like a brilliant dream, but surely the time will come soon enough where fans will regain control of their clubs.
The whole bubble will burst about the global appeal of the Premier League, the rich businessmen will scarper and we will be left to care for our baby.

If this does happen it will just mean the clubs are setting themselves up a fall that they cannot imagine, just to get a bit more of the green stuff and appease the fans like Lee who live abroad.

The clubs have already sold their souls to the devil, just whether they decide to start dancing to the tune he plays in 2010/11.
Tony Keating
12   Posted 07/02/2008 at 19:37:11

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I think it is a disgrace and the only real word I can find to discribe it is greed. Its just taking our game away further away from the people. The day this happens I think this will be the day I stop going the game.
DAvid Moore
13   Posted 07/02/2008 at 20:16:59

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Hope everton come toAustralia. I thinkSydney and Melbourne would bid for it as CAhill is an Aussie. I would go if it was anywhere on the continent.
Rupert Sullivan
14   Posted 07/02/2008 at 20:19:19

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I have no problem per se with the prospect of games abroad but for those games to count towards the league scores as an additional game is just ludicrous. How would you feel if your team lost out on a spot in Europe because they had to play an Utd for a third time and Spurs only had to play Wigan - this idea is a joke, the sooner they forget it the better.
Alan Clarke
15   Posted 07/02/2008 at 20:21:40

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Do you think Oslo would bid for a Liverpool game? Surely this would give them an unfair home advantage. Perhaps Beijing could bid for all of Man U’s games and they can fuck and stay there playing in their world super league.
Lyndon Lloyd
Editorial Team
16   Posted 07/02/2008 at 20:22:15

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A few people, including Ric Wallace, have made comments about clubs not being able to attract big numbers of traveling supporters but the point is that these games would not be for UK-based supporters. Sure, you?ll get the usual die-hards who travel everywhere to follow Everton ? even to an LA training match at which they were not made welcome! ? but these matches would be aimed squarely at curious or existing supporters in the host country. It?s all about increasing awareness and interest in foreign countries and getting more fans to consume the game going forward via TV in order to increase revenue in the long run.
Ed Casey
17   Posted 07/02/2008 at 17:20:46

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Thank you very much NFL.

Whilst watching that other sport called football at Wembly the honorable gents that run the Premier league football clubs have obviously had a significant brainwave and decided the best way to line their filthy pockets is to start playing football in far flung places.

Anyway, what for Everton in this new climate! Expect trips to Bangkok, LA and Glasgow to watch (unfathomably) our beloved blues play the likes of Man U, RS, Villa and/or Birmingham, Sunderland, Fulham and/or Bristol City, Stoke, Wolves, or Swansea — it all depends which of those glamourous teams makes it up to the Prem in three years!

Anyway, after you've all sighed a big sigh and resigned yourself to the fact that the money men will stop at nothing to shaft the game for every penny, how about a little fun? Anyone have any suggestions as to where they'd like to see Everton play and use it as an excuse to get away for a week or two!

albert velthuijsen
18   Posted 07/02/2008 at 20:37:32

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Red shite vs Manure on the moon would be great !!!.
Duncan M-S
19   Posted 07/02/2008 at 20:41:47

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If this happens it might just be the end of my love affair with football. I can't believe (but am not surprised) that they would do this.

I don't want to be watching Everton on TV being supported by a load of people in wherever who don't have a clue about our club. I can't see the players enjoying it either ? where's the support going to come from?

This is just so blatant an example of putting money before the fans; they're not even trying to hide it:

"Some fans may feel aggrieved, but their concerns will be outweighed in the eyes of the clubs by the financial advantages." (From the BBC Website).

Damn the fucking Man!

Gavin Ramejkis
20   Posted 07/02/2008 at 20:54:13

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The whole point about pre-season friendlies is to expand your club’s profile abroad not some money grabbing bastard idea to appease the super rich into not breaking away into a Euro Super League which is what all this is. The FA are running scared thinking their cash cow is about to walk off and leave them with the remaining dregs to screw for a living. Sky are also running scared as rumour has it that ESPN are looking to outbid them when the EPL league television rights come up for grabs again, Sky are trying to squeeze every last drop out of the EPL and promote themselves as the inventors and owners of the game.

friendlies anywhere on the planet are a good idea, playing some game to make some rich fat bastards richer no thanks.
El-Ray Jackson
21   Posted 07/02/2008 at 20:57:56

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Here’s an article from the Daily Mail. It’s called they’re killing our game.

Richard Scudamore made an extraordinary admission yesterday. ’There are,’ said the Premier League chief executive in trying to defend this highly controversial proposal for an international round of matches, ’other more ridiculous things we could have done’. It was extraordinary for two reasons. Firstly, because Scudamore admits that the idea of asking Manchester United to add a 39th league fixture to their season and then telling them to play it in Australia is indeed ridiculous. And secondly because he revealed the Premier League’s capacity for doing something even more extreme. Quite what could be ’more ridiculous’ than 10 extra matches that destroy the integrity of the world’s most popular league is beyond the comprehension of most football followers. But these guys are well paid for coming up with imaginative marketing strategies and they obviously had even more radical plans in mind.

For the most part, they have proved pretty damn good at promoting the Premier League brand and generating income for their member clubs. Scudamore, the Carlos Tevez affair aside, has long been considered one of the finest football administrators in the game.

On this occasion, however, he and his colleagues, as well as the 20 Premier League chairmen and chief executives who voted unanimously in favour of the proposal yesterday, have made a seriously bad call.

The English football community is now divided between a minority who are evidently driven by greed and the majority who are utterly appalled by an idea that should be dismissed, as it was by Gareth Southgate, as an early April Fool’s joke and then forgotten in a hurry.

Fans, understandably, do not welcome being told that they will soon have to fly to the Far East or even further to watch their team play Birmingham City in a league match. ’It’s an opportunity to travel!’ cried Scudamore, which is fine if you’re loaded.

But the objections go way beyond that. They go to the very heart of what the competition is supposed to be about. The chairmen might be in favour of the proposal but imagine Arsene Wenger’s reaction when ’the draw’ is made.

Imagine how he will feel at the start of a new season when he realises that, while his Arsenal side will have to meet Chelsea three times, Manchester United are heading for Tokyo for an extra encounter with Derby County.

Imagine if, when the season has been concluded, Arsenal lose the title race by one or two points.

For that reason alone, the ’international round’ has to be filed away with those plans for a European Super League and then sent to the shredder.

The league works as a competition because it is fair. Because everyone plays each other home and away and the team with the most points wins.

Trouble is, the people who are behind this are the same people who now own a number of our leading football clubs and they don’t seem too bothered about such detail.

They are in it for the money, and overseas televisions rights and the globalisation of the game is what excites them most.

While all 20 chairmen and chief executives agreed to the proposal in London yesterday, the foreign owners are driving this one on.

It is, of course, why they are here. Why Tom Hicks and George Gillett bought Liverpool and why they have no interest in selling to a group of businessmen in Dubai for a £50million profit.

If they sit tight and push for what they consider to be progress, they can make a real killing.

Hicks said as much in an interview with Sportsmail back in August. ’The Premier League has the best growth opportunities in global terms in sport,’ he said.

Indeed it does, and Scudamore would not be doing his job properly if he did not take note of the NFL’s recent appearance at Wembley and identify ways of keeping the Premier League one step ahead of Italy’s Serie A and Spain’s La Liga.

But it all smacks of hypocrisy when Sven Goran Eriksson had to battle so hard to secure that four week break prior to the last World Cup.

When they continue to claim that they care about the England team and England’s already over-played footballers as well as the domestic cup competitions.

The Carling Cup - with its semi-finals in January - looks like being the first victim.

Incredibly, the Football Association said they supported the proposal yesterday but then maybe they are smarter than we think. After all, let this through and never again will the clubs be able to complain about international friendlies.

But before they do, and sanction this proposal as the governing body and guardians of the game, they should ask the managers, the players and, more importantly, the fans what they think.
Alex Baker
22   Posted 07/02/2008 at 20:59:42

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These foreign fans all over the world don’t care about any English clubs except the Sky 4.They’ll be watching Man Ure play against someone they’ve never heard of before. I thought this was an English premier league.
Chris Dooley
23   Posted 07/02/2008 at 21:07:35

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This is the moment when English football stops being a sport and turns into something akin to WWF ?sports entertainment?. It is amazing how the media and the clubs have gradually chipped away all of our standards, until they can seriously come out with this proposal and think that we will take it! I?m still half expecting it to be some kind of joke!

I wonder what UEFA will make of this? Surely other leagues will not be happy about this? Could UEFA or FIFA stop this even if they wanted to? No wonder they abolished the G14. The premiership fat cat?s obviously realised they could make more money without the other European clubs.
albert velthuijsen
24   Posted 07/02/2008 at 21:21:05

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The last 15 years i come over from holland to support Everton fc.
Every time we walk in the city, mathew street albert dock GOODISON we feel very much at home it’s all about a life style that comes with to be an evertonian, so i cannot understand Who’s come up with the idea to play an everton match in holland for example !!!.
Stig Meacham
25   Posted 07/02/2008 at 21:16:44

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As much as I read from and about our supporters in the States up there, I have to say this is so much more about Asia and Oceania than the US. The US might get an LA and/or NY match out of this farce, but it’s all about an excuse to get to the cash in Korea, Japan, China, SE Asia and Australia. It might be another fun excuse to bash the States on here, but you’re probably off the mark on this one.
guy hastings
26   Posted 07/02/2008 at 21:21:58

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Bearing in mind the sensitivity of the site of late I can only say, sorry, Lyndon. I was going to reply to your point but your ovine naivety is so sweet, I can’t bring myself to load the stun gun.
Gavin Ramejkis
27   Posted 07/02/2008 at 21:50:35

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Is it any wonder that the CEOs voted for this, shudder to think that there are another 19 greedy bastards like Wyness out there ready to fill their own pockets.
James Wong
28   Posted 07/02/2008 at 21:57:57

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The premier league and soccer in general is only one of the few sports that have an equal number of games home and away for each club making it very fair. Playing an extra game is just not a very good idea. A better idea is to perhaps play perhaps the FA Cup games maybe the 5th round or something like that. Sure there will be some championship sides but overall still provide some good football that will get people interested in the sport in england.
Tony Williams
29   Posted 07/02/2008 at 22:32:56

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I was going to try and write a patient and calm post but fuck it, it will be an abomination if this is allowed to go through.

I thimk the only reason why all the sheep...I mean chairmen of the clubs are saying it is an "interesting concept" is because they don’t want to be seen as troublemakers and end up with the cold balls when the "draw" is made.

Please explain tome how this will be fair? There are 38 games 19 teams home and away so how in the name of all that is Holy can this be a fair decision, I mean they are even already talking about a fucking seeding therefore the league is no longer on a level footing but aimed towards the teams doing well when the games are supposed to be played.

It is a fucking disgrace and I am going to have to stop now, as I can imagine that the rest of my writings would be littered with expletives.

Corrupt, greedy horrible c*nts
Ed Fitzgerald
30   Posted 07/02/2008 at 22:19:22

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I have to be honest nothing this shower of chancers (The premier league and its chairman) come up with would suprise me. Globalisation of the game is a term that thown about like some benign statement when the reality is that such suggestions stop the growth of the ’beautiful game’ in other countries at grass roots level. Everything I have loved about football is being destroyed and replaced by desire to make money at any cost. No doubt corporate football clubs cant be far off, lets face it Man u are nearly there now (No disrespect to what happened at Munich even that seems to have become a rather undignified media circus) so how long before Microsoft or some other global company buys a team or a league, and uses it as one vast marketing exercise. For those who say this is to far simply consider what has happended to football since Murdoch got his paws on it and what is happening to us now.
Keith Glazzard
31   Posted 07/02/2008 at 22:48:08

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Tell you what - lets have the FA Cup Final sold to the highest bidding city each year. It would make more sense than this bag of shite. This pisses in the face of every football supporter in the land. (Sorry about the language, but I only use it when I’m angry, and this one hits very deep.)
Mark Pendleton
32   Posted 08/02/2008 at 00:08:04

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The soul of the game is truly dead.
Yusuf Bobat
33   Posted 08/02/2008 at 00:11:39

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Don’t worry yourselfs too much over this nonsense it will never happen.
Graham Rathbone
34   Posted 08/02/2008 at 00:07:31

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Seems to me to be yet another example of the death of football in this country as it becomes a media / money circus.
As the 39th game counts toward the league i.e. 3 points toward the championship then it will, once again in my opinion, favour the "Sky 4" as they cannot play each other.
I cannot see what Reading, Wigan Derby (no disrespect) would get out of it. what if they avoid relegation by a point after 38 games only to play a seeded team, get beat and go down.
I think the idea is crap and only serves the greedy executives at the likes of the Premier league and SKY TV Mind you the 20 clubs have agreed to explore it, so what do I know?

Paul Coldock
35   Posted 08/02/2008 at 00:48:41

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Football is dieing. Greed is the coffin it is going to be burried in.

I cannot begin to decribe the dismay I am feeling right now. Keith ’fat scot’ Wyness’s (sorry to get personal, but I’m bleeding here) comments about EFC supporting this stupid, half baked idea, has just killed any faith I had left in our board.

No. This is no longer about the fan, but about the money.

Just one point of interest; without the fans, thier is no football club. One cannot exist without the other. So why are those at the top so intent on pushing us away?
Kev Martin
36   Posted 08/02/2008 at 02:27:24

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I really hope that Everton come to their senses quickly and come out against this idea. Only the "fashionable" money clubs will benefit. Anyone who thinks otherwise is a fool. If this happens they will make sure that Everton do not take up a seeded place for long. Why I reckon they might even go as far as not giving us a goal when we score one in a tight game!

I’ll feel sad but if this happens I will not set foot in a footie ground again. I often feel like we’re being screwed now, do they really have to rub salt into that wound
Paul Momber
37   Posted 08/02/2008 at 04:01:10

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Stupid idea goes against the principals of a league where everyone plays everyone twice therefore making it a fair table at the end of the competition.

I reckon they are going to do that stupid system where the top 4 go into a playoff at the end of the season and play a knockout for the title, same as the Ruggers.
Nick Entwistle
38   Posted 08/02/2008 at 10:59:40

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Never one to use a swear word when good English is more appropriate, but we are well and truley being fucked in the ass and bitch slapped into meaningless givers of cash and nothing more on this one.
If this goes through I’d quite happily see Everton apply for the Championship...
Steve Syder
39   Posted 08/02/2008 at 12:33:05

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An absolutely criminal suggestion, that could well end my 50 yrs love affair with EFC.

As someone else has said, how is it fair that relegation-threatend teams may have to play the Arse whilst those around them play each other?

This is yet another example of protecting the "Big 4" - seeding almost guarantteeing them an extra 3 points thank you very much!

Play exhibition matches if you must, but don’t destroy our league.

What’s next - pimping the players’ wives would probably bring in a few quid.
Chris Lawlor
40   Posted 08/02/2008 at 13:22:34

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My local Blue Square team is fast becoming my footy outlet lately. Although I’m at Goodison religiously like most of you, I find that I enjoy the pureness of the local game and the fact that its untarnished by the fat cats. I’m an Evertonian through and through but I’m not going to stand by a hand over my hard earned every season for this charade. Its about time the game went back to its roots and reclaimed some kind of respect from its followers. SHAME ON YOU PREMIER LEAGUE PRICKS.
Perry Umbown
41   Posted 08/02/2008 at 14:11:01

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Sorry for the outburst but the problem is media and peer pressure from the sky/big 3 bastards and no other club wanting to be left behind. Whats makesit even worse is that all the power for change is in the hands of the fans...
The astonishingly simple but impossible solution would be for all fans of football teams across the land to simply ABANDON GAMES for up to one year, this would force every chairman to give up the reins and allow the fans of every club to own their clubs outright FOR FREE!
Then we can return to proper english football played by proper players with no bias or media control, as I said a simple but impossible solution as no fans want to be left behind either.
The whole thing reminds me of Kirkby and the arguments for and against (ha you knew it would come in somewhere!), while some people see the promised extra 10m a year and are saying ’we dont want to get left behind’, others can see that where its all heading is a pile of shite anyway, and being ’left behind’ is tantamount to retaining the principles the game was based upon.
I know it’ll be the last straw for me, anyone who supports this can just fuck right off!
Alan Rolfe
42   Posted 08/02/2008 at 15:04:48

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So the 20 "guardians" of the Premiership or the EPL as they like to sell to the rest of the TV world have proposed a New Year novelty for the foreign TV supporters. (and their own coffers)

"Let’s go and visit the poor people and find new ways of ripping them off" they suggest, at the same time they can avoid the January cold.

Hold on isn’t January the time for the F.A. Cup, the semis of the Carling Cup, and the transfer window? All of which are controlled and run by the F.A.?

Surely the Premiership wouldn’t try to railroad something that the F.A. shouldn’t want, but are powerless to stop, the fans don’t want but will not be considered, would they??

Let’s ALL hope that FIFA tell them where to get off for encroaching into countries that already have their own national leagues.

Money talks so I’m not expecting anything from this "exploration of the proposal" other than a big OK rubber stamp and a stampede for the duty free shop...

Tony Waring
43   Posted 08/02/2008 at 16:33:06

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Money...the root of all evil. It’s not so long since most managers were complaining about the rigours of travel and its effects on their poor little overworked players; now we have this stupid proposal. Let’s hope it’s kicked into touch asap. We are already informed by Manure supporters that the vast majority of "fans" at Old Trafford don’t even know where Manchester is ! The ordinary guy cannot afford to buy a match ticket and that’s what will happen to the rest of us if this crazy scheme ever sees the light of day.
Nick Entwistle
44   Posted 08/02/2008 at 17:38:07

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Funny how this announcement was made after the England game... would have been whistles and booing all round...
Joey Smith
45   Posted 15/02/2008 at 17:51:56

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Sorry this is off-topic, but Paul Niklas making the comments, is that baldy Paul from Fresh Express? If so how you doing fella?

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