As I laid in my London bed at 1 am last night in the sweltering heat, something was nagging me. I kept running the question through my mind: “am I forgetting something?” Suddenly I remembered “THE CHAMPIONS CUP!” I lept out of my sweat-soaked berth and excitedly leapt to the telly, fired up my Virgin Box and switched over to Premier Sports – which is now available free for two months due to the handbags between UKTV – purveyors of dated and constantly repeated programming – and Virgin Media. Imagine my dismay when the only game I found being broadcast was between Bayern Munich and Juventus… What?
Turns out if I wanted to see my ‘heroes’ play their second or third string side, at half pace, an opportunity for the manager to advertise some miss-fits in the shop window, LFC TV was the only place in town. The entrance fee? An additional £7 per month. No thank you, kind Sir.
You might think I’m tighter than a cat’s arsehole, I mean, it’s only a measly £7 a month right? No, it’s not.
It’s the £60 home jersey, the same for the second and third if you wish. Then another £180 if you want to rinse and repeat the following season, as it surely will change again. That doesn’t include the goalie’s shirt either, especially with the brand new signing this Summer. If you’re lucky enough its the £869.00 for a season ticket in the main stand, away tickets and travel not included. Don’t get me started on the crap kick-off times for away fans up and down the country. Perhaps you’ve forked out £59.00 for a single ticket? Enjoyed paying over the odds for rancid halftime grub? Don’t worry, it won’t be in there long enough to cause any real harm. Maybe a £5.00 beer to wash it down? A beer that you have to gulp before entering the view of the pitch, otherwise you’ll be chucked out on your arse. Maybe you fancied a little memento for the occasion? Paid £3.50 for a match programme, or popped into the club shop. Perhaps you’ve brought the little ones for that special bond between a father and his kids, so just multiply all of the above costs by three or four. Except for the beer of course! I hope…
If you’re like me and the only way you can watch ‘the Reds’ is mostly on telly, so it’s the 30 or 40 quid a month for SKY and BT Sports. Amazon Prime has just entered the bargain which currently stands at £8 a month, so that’s bound to go up. I’m in London so thanks to greed and a complete lack of care from the powers that be I have a zero hour contract, three of them in fact. If I want to watch my beloved ‘Reds’ I have to take the time off work and take a hit in the pocket, so I’m already down.
This is a tired old argument from a tired old football fan, of club football anyway, but it beggars belief as to why the club’s supporters, the bedrock of the club are being completely rinsed for every penny? I get it that in order for the club to compete at the highest level it needs to spend, however, with the money that the club is making from television revenue alone, this must surely give the club breathing room and enable some relief for long-suffering supporters?
Then you have Principal Owner John Henry (Our very own Gordon Gekko) moaning about the top clubs not getting their fair share overseas TV money! Sound familiar? Perhaps it’s 1988 all over again and the start of another break-away league? Except it will be a European Super League, an idea that has been bandied about for a number of years.
“It’s a disagreement based entirely on governance,” Henry told The Associated Press. “Everyone in the league knows what the large clubs bring to the value of foreign rights, but the large clubs do not have the votes to change something that should have changed as media rights changed over the past 25 years.”
He continues: “It’s hard to imagine this continuing much longer. In America, where we have closed leagues, you can argue for these types of arrangements, but it’s much more difficult to ask independent clubs to subsidize their competitors beyond a certain point when you have relegation and especially with the way media is rapidly changing and being consumed today.”
What Johny Henry fails to realise, is that it’s the competitive nature of the Premier League (amongst other things) that attracts the attention of football fans from all over the World. West Bromwich Albion finished rock bottom of the 2017/18 Premier League and bagged a staggering £94.7m, flushed out by foreign television markets and that has caught the ire of Mr Henry.
When you consider the astronomical fees (something Liverpool FC have attributed to) that are required to compete in today’s footballing world, that prize money is more about helping to sustain a club in order for it to be weened from the heroin that is the Premier League in 2018, whilst attempting to avoid becoming the next Leeds United. Something I’m sure John Henry couldn’t give a monkey’s toss about and to be fair, it’s not his problem.
So that’s it, rant over.
It’s funny, I was checking out the official Liverpool website and what kept popping was Liverpool Football Club with the Football Club bit scratched out and FAMILY scribbled across the offending words.
Since we’re family, any chance of a loan? Help out a brother?
Oh yeah, Liverpool won 1-2 by the way, with a young Irish goalkeeper making a quality save from a certain Leroy Sane.
His name? Caoimhin Kelleher