Tuesday, 25 August 2015

The football fantasy. Is the dream coming to an end?

Yesterday Sepp Blatter gave an extraordinary press conference. He seemed to say that football wasn't corrupt, just the people who run it.

The premier league season has started, the transfer window is open and hundreds of millions have changed hands, largely on second tier players no one had ever heard of.

In the early season exchanges only Manchester City have looked vaguely decent, the other clubs are asking more questions than they answer. Chelsea have had all manner of issues.  Mourinho seemingly at war with everyone from his medical staff to himself! Manchester United seem strangely muted. LVG gives the impression that he doesn't know his best team or the best style of play. Yet again their transfer strategy is a shambles. Arsenal look short of a decent striker and the defence has at times resembled a bad pub team after a heavy night. At least they have addressed the goalkeeping issue. Liverpool have strengthened up front with Benteke but still look dodgy at the back Skrtl always looks like an accident waiting to happen.

In short, despite all the cash, there seems to be scant return. There has been little genuinely attractive or exciting football on show.

Football finances have long been more smoke and mirrors than what could be described as sound business practices. Huge TV deals, sponsorship agreements and naming rights bloat the wallets at dodgy middlemen, while nothing gets ploughed into grassroots soccer and youth football.

With all these bloated contracts, it seems austerity has passed football by. But what will happen if the stock market turmoil hits the corporations who use the PL as a primary source of marketing? SKY TV and BT largely fund this merrygoround, but recoup much from advertisers and sponsors. If these companies run into difficulties, all of a sudden the economics of the deals don't work. If the TV revenue dries up, what happens to the gold seal contracts?

Football seemed to surf the tidal wave of the 2008 crash, but the PL is Far more reliant on foreign TV and advertising than ever. Could it be that the PL football fantasy league is about to catch a very nasty cold?

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