It’s been a slow week on the football front. Arsenal slinked Lacazette into the operating theatre the other day, he’ll now be missing for 6 weeks. I’d have to make a very educated guess and say that the club knew this operation was needed, and that was why they bought Aubameyang. Still feels like an odd move to sell Giroud, knowing he’d likely land a bunch of games.
Not quite sure why the club hasn’t come to terms with the fact that Danny Welbeck isn’t that great. I mean, unless your expectations of a striker are ‘running around with purpose’ versus scoring goals.
Also, hot-take here. Arsenal fans have the worst Stockholm Syndrome in world football
Why do I get jealous seeing Giroud in a blue shirt?
Why am I wondering what could have been with Coquelin?
Why did I question the sale of Theo Walcott on the podcast the other day?
I am a f*cking embarrassment, and so are you if you’re thinking these dark, weak, pathetic thoughts.
Snap out of it.
It was the right thing to do. Stop moping around like you just put the family kitten down because it sneezed. Embarrassing carry on.
We had some good fun watching Spurs go 2-0 down in Turin yesterday, until we had to stomach the reality that our rivals are pretty good whilst watching them beast Allegri and make Juve look very much like the away team. 2-2 in Italy is very good. I don’t think I’m speaking too early on this, but I think we really are starting to see the benefits of brilliant coaches and a more monied league paying dividends in Europe.
One of the best journalists in the game, Rory Smith, penned this excellent article on how the new format of the Champions League is entrenching wealth in the minor Euro leagues. It made me think of two things, as gates begin to fall in leagues where there’s no competition, the answer won’t be to distribute wealth more evenly, it’ll be to double down and build a super league. That’s a worry for all of us.
The second thought… the Premier League has done an excellent job building its product. Richard Scudamore is a genius. He sells the Premier League, a mostly substandard product, for record amounts year on year. This year, it looks like it might have plateaued. This from Nick Harris at @SportingIntel.
Premier League has sold 5 packages (of 7) of UK live TV rights, 2019-22, for £4.464bn, or £9.3m a game for those 480 games. With 120 games in last two packs still to sell, at same avg they would net £5.58bn v £5.14bn last time. Would be vg result for them.
There must be a decent chance that the two remaining packs will attract close to £9.3m per game; those packs by definition each contain two ‘first picks’ per season, and two ‘second picks’ etc. There’s a premium on that.
If those remaining games sell for as little as £5m each then PL income for live UK rights will be just under £5.1bn for 2019-2022 against just over £5.1bn for 2016-19. Either way a plateau at worst, which is not a burst bubble. And overseas rights will be up.
Still a monumental amount of money. As Alfred pointed out in our chat group, interesting that tech giants, Amazon, Google, and Facebook all steered clear. Preferring to invest their money in more traditional Netflix style content.
In the US, they have something called SlingTV. It’s cord cutting for LIVE TV. The equivalent in the UK would be having the ability to buy an internet package that looks like Sky without the box and the 18month contract. Anyway, with BEin Sports, the channels that offers up La Liga and Serie A, they have a section where you can go back and watch a whole bunch of games. Like a Netflix for European football. I’d buy into that shit.
I’d also buy a season ticket to the Premier League through my Apple account. If the Cupertino giant wanted a quick way to dominate the TV space in the UK, they could buy Premier League rights and bundle it with their hardware. I’d imagine that the tech giants might be more willing to play this game when all the games are put up for purchase. Their infrastructure could globalise the game pretty easily, and if it was centralised through an iTunes like entity, it’d be pretty damn efficient.
Anyway, I veered off the literary motorway into the central reservation there.
My point was, the Premier League distributing wealth fairly has made for a competitive league. Not this season so much. But in general, at least there’s a point to watching it unlike Germany, Italy and France.
What should give you solace, is you can still compete at the lower echelons of finance. Monaco have made a semi-final, Atleti have made 2 finals, Bayern are always there or thereabouts. So whilst money is usually king, it doesn’t mean you give up. The two biggest spenders on that list have never won the Champions League. Sad stat, the only two teams in the top 10 of transfer spending that have never won a CL? Arsenal and Everton. Everton, mostly because they’ve only played in it once in 25 years. Arsenal’s excuse is a little harder to come by.
Right, that’s me done. If you want to listen to some detailed stuff on Ostersunds, check out the Nordic podcast below I was on. The Just Football chaps are professional analysts/scouts in Norway and Sweden. Bit embarrased to be speaking to actual pros about Arsenal, but good fun regardless.