Posts Tagged → The Premier League
The pervious blog shows just how little power The FA really have, I wrote that before they published a response to the Governments requests. The whole document was a complete disgrace and considering there were over 70 different points in the governments recommendation, 16 pages from the football authorities hardly covered any of it. Richard Scudamore comments from the other day show just how much power the Premier League really has….
We’ll make sure supporters have a proper voice but that doesn’t mean they can get everything they want.
… its everything summed up in one sentence. It makes it pretty clear Scudamore is stuck in his own little word…
It’s very hard to come up with legitimate ways to put fans on boards. We don’t have a Germanic model here.
… its very simple. Include a simple rule which means a new place is created and an elected supporter from each clubs supporters trust is put on the board of each club. It doesn’t require rocket science. Most people might think that will never happen in the Premier League. Scudamore needs to be reminded Swansea already have a supporter on the board. On top of that, 64 other clubs outside the Premier League have supporters on their boards. Considering there are just over 170 supporters trusts thats a huge chunk. Considering more clubs are being taken over by the fans season by season and the shareholdings are increasing season on season. Scudamore is living in the same world as FIFA. Completely out of touch and clueless. Apart from the other facts on directors, does he know 26 clubs are owned by the fans?
Most of the clubs which are owned by the fans are from League One and below but they have been increasing in number. Clubs like Exeter, Wrexham, Wimbledon and Chester are examples of larger clubs which have struggled but have been reborn. Tranmere Rovers and other supporters trusts already have viable plans to takeover their clubs but the current plans from the football authorities limit what can be done. Scudamore comments are that not of The FA, the Government or the fans but the Premier League and its clubs. Scudamore only has the interests of the owners of the clubs at heart and nothing else. Can you imagine the Glazers, Henry, Roman or many of the other owners supporting change from the fans point of view?
The question now is, what is the Governments response to this document? Do they know details we yet don’t? Will they be public and tell us their view? Are they going to ask for more or will they be quiet and slyly accept this? If this is slowly allowed to disappear to allow the Premier League to do as they wish, something has gone seriously wrong. Serious questions should be put forward now to the Department for Culture Media and Sport to find out what the next stage is!
If you’ve heard about the report into football governance or kept up to date from the mainly the Guardian or Telegraph. Both have been reporting the stories on the issue so you should have some idea of where the debate and changes are up to. I doubt think the Sun have even mentioned it, too busy reporting Rihannas new hair do, thats the stuff that matters.
At the end of the Culture and Media and Select committee on football governance a report was passed on to the government to review. In the Governments final publication, this was made clear on more than one occasion.
75. The Government is fully committed to ensuring that the changes put forward by the football authorities make a lasting and substantive difference. If that does not happen the Government will introduce a legal requirement on the Football Association to implement the appropriate governance clauses by the swiftest possible means.
Unsurprising one of the first recommendations that was made, has been reportedly completely ignored. The 10 man board with 6 independent non-executive directors hasn’t happened and they couldn’t even agree a small change. Currently on the 14 man board sit 3 Premier League Directors and 2 Football league Directors, its not hard to see why they won’t give up those posts any time soon. If the football clubs have control of the FA, it means the football clubs can still do pretty much as they like. It seems again they’ve got their own way and its as if the introduction of the licensing system is going to say ‘we’ve set up a licensing system and set up the independent body for it but let us off on the other areas.’
The other thing is, this could be a challenge to the Government on areas they really don’t want to change and if the Government did get involved theres a possibly the England Team would banned by FIFA. If the England team was banned just before the Euros, there would be uproar but if thats a price that must be paid, so be it. Football refusing to sorting its self out and allowing a long list of famous clubs to go bust is unacceptable in my book. They been clearly warned and if they don’t want to change, make them by what ever means possible.
It also makes you think what other areas within the governments report have they refuse to move on and it also makes you think the ones they have changed will have been to the complete minimum. Many people think the governments report itself was weak, so to see some key areas within a weak report completely missed shows just how backwards our game is. If The FA have refused to complete just one single point and if they have made it so its the minimum of changes on the rest, the Government should take steps straight away. It shows the football authorities can’t run themselves to do the very basics as the government trusted them to do so and it also means the Government must step in. The government has also been pressured to support supporter ownership in football and they if can’t even change the FA board we have serious problems which have been proven to be bigger than they were before.
The news on pubs being allowed to show live Premier League games on foreign satellite decoders was known last week but this isn’t over. It still requires more time for the high court to view the judgement it asked for so currently Sky can still charge high prices and fine pubs if they don’t pay the fees.
The question again is what does this mean to us and the pubs. If the judgement is accepted which it should be there are number of new issues. The copyright of the game its self seems to be the most interesting. It said ‘sporting events cannot be considered to be an author’s own intellectual creation and, therefore, by extension to be “works” for the purposes of copyright protection in the European Union.’ Basically the Premier League nor anyone else owns copyright to the games being played. The problem here is the court says the graphics, logos and music used by Sky and the Premier League are owned by Sky and the Premier League. Anyone for example streaming from the internet for free would be in breach of copyright law but if the high court approved the judgement and a pub paid a decoder from Greece which was 95% less than you’d pay Sky would that be in breach of copyright law? I don’t see how it could be. You’ve paid for a satellite reciever which is sold by the Premier League to a Greek TV company, if it had the official graphics would that matter? You’ve technically paid the league and you’ve paid for the rights, logos, etc. If the European Judgement stands this allows you to buy the rights to show the games from anywhere within the EU.
I don’t believe the graphics etc and the copyright issue should be that bigger deal if you’re paying for a legitimate European Satellite provider who pays the Premier League for the rights which most pubs will be doing anyway. How can a decoder bought from Greece showing Premier League games which is paid for legitimately within the EU be illegal or break copyright right law? If the graphics are there and they are paid for? What’s the problem?
This leads to how the Premier wants to protect it’s pricing and keep making billions. However the Premier League aims to price it’s services, I would find it very strange it the European arena was treated like the UK with £1000s being charged to show Premier League games. I can’t see the Germans, French, Italians or Greeks agreeing to pay £1000s a month to show Premier League games. The other the issue that’s been rumoured is the League could totally stop showing 3pm games in the EU to stop UK viewers from watching and having access to that service. This again affects the value of the package offered to Europe. Do they really think the Greeks and the rest of Europe will want to pay 95% more with no 3pm games? Every option the league offers or doesn’t offer must affect it’s business. Currently the League has the best offer. It’s UK operations are protected and it can freely sell rights at different prices to different EU countries. I’d still say at this point if it’s a Pan-Euro deal or not, what ever happens the League has big issues and problems to solve. I don’t believe copyright is the biggest issue here unless I’ve missed something, it’s pricing.
You might have heard about this and thought nothing of it but I’m going to put it another way and after you’ve gone part way through this, you should stop reading, then start writing your own email or letter to United. If you’re a season ticket holder and you don’t start writing one, there is something very wrong with you.
Here is the email address for Manchester United Ticketing and Membership services.
Most season ticket holders pay over £1000 a season for the privilege* to apply for away tickets and most of the time the chances of a ticket are very slim. Unless theres a large allocation of 5,000 or more tickets which is very rare, the chances are almost zero. I’ve already covered the reducing of allocations to our supporters but what happened last weekend against Bolton is another level of boiling blood. Bolton had reduced Manchester United’s allocation and then decided sell a selection of tickets to an Irish Travel firm to sell on as away tickets. This was also true for another unknown group of Norwegians who were also sold tickets as away tickets. This is another kind of low and it has to stop right now. We knew this went on last season at Wigan but today this has really started to get noticed after a number of us started investigating it.
These are sold as travel packages to so called Manchester United fans who have nothing to do with the club. They gave United the lowest amount of tickets 10% which was 2,771 tickets out of the 28,000 capacity and then technically upped it again by selling more away tickets to Manchester United fans. Where they came from doesn’t matter, how they were sold does. Manchester United Football Club should be the only ones given the tickets and they should be the only ones allowed to sell away tickets to Manchester United fans. All Season Tickets Holders have an agreement with the club on domestic away tickets. They are the first ones who are allowed to apply for these tickets but an Irish Travel firm as we speak is selling away end tickets in the Manchester United away section. By buying a season ticket you get certain rights and applying for away tickets is one. If other Manchester United fans regardless of where they from are allowed to buy the away end tickets now but other the fans who have paid a lot of money for the privilege of applying officially through the club will never get the chance of getting a ticket, there is something very wrong here. If tickets are being sold outside of the agreement to any Manchester United fans, this must for one break a number of safety regulations. They are Manchester United fans in the away end, in the stadium under Manchester United’s name but they have nothing officially to do with the club. The safety panel have said the number of Manchester United fans in the ground must be reduced and this clearly not the case. This must also break the agreement in a number of ways between the club and the season ticket holders. Clearly the action of selling away tickets only to season ticket holders is not the case and it’s not correct. These agreements for away tickets must question a number of, safety regulations, FA rules and Premier League rules. If something was to happen with the Manchester United fans, Manchester United Football Club would be blamed and they wouldn’t even know who was in the ground.
It’s not only Manchester United Season Ticket Holders who will suffer but Wigan and Bolton are doing the same thing, selling away tickets away from the clubs of Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham. They will do the same thing. Give allocations of 2,700 tickets or there about, then try and sell the remaining to tourists away from those clubs.
If at this point, your blood isn’t boiling you need a kick in the face. Write your email at this point and if you aren’t happy with the response send it me on twitter at @wewantglazerout You can also send your stories to @barneyrednews who will be very interested.
*Based on a 3rd tier season ticket for 19 home games and 10 cup games at £34 a game + champions league ticket price increases.
I did a blog the other day about Skys TV deal and how it could be affected by European competition law in October. It’s only after some more research and some digging I’ve worked out how much it could be affected. The press did a number of stories how it could be affected but never put it into numbers. Forget the Football Governance Report and the Phone Hacking if there is something that’s going to hit someone Hard in the pocket in the next few months, it’s going to be this. Sky are estimated to have around 50,000 pub customers with many paying over £1000 a month or more to show live Premier League games. We don’t know the total value figure but that could be put a value of around £600m. The current deal between Sky and Premier League is worth something around £1.7 Billion a season. Currently if you were to install a Greek Box, your expected to pay for the year and so on which works at around £1000-1600 for box, satellite installation, HD and a 12 month subscription. Interesting thing is the card on it’s own to renew is around £995 for the year if you buy it off the installation company which works at out £80 a month. The same package from Nova directly is £45. If you buy it through a UK company that makes it 92% cheaper than a comparable Sky subscription for the year. If you get it direct from Greece it’s 95.5 cheaper.
This is where Skys big problem comes in. A few months ago the Greek broadcaster nova sports threatened to cut British customers off as it didn’t have the rights to broadcast outside of Greece but this has since changed drastically. Since hearing the European Court of Justices likely outcome, they have plans to directly market their products in the UK. Even for home users this makes the market more competitive. Currently with Sky the Sky Sports package is £50 with the same package only being £45 from Nova which also happens to show the 3pm games. If Nova are allowed to market directly to pubs, at 95.5 cheaper rate and are also given the chance to air 3pm games there is no way the current deal is worth £1.7 Billion in the UK. It would clearly no longer be exclusive and the pub market value and prices should in theory drop drastically.
The Last Blog Post Still Applies apart from it is 6 months! Anyone told to read the first blog post, go down apost, then read this. I mentioned in the last post there was an announcement. Here it is, its quiet hard to believe.
But Read This….
“5.4.iii. Work with football bodies to consider how best to improve football governance, including options to support the co-operative ownership of football clubs by supporters – December 2010 To May 2011.
5.4.iv. Publish proposals for improving governance in sport – May 2011″
This has come directly from the Government. The FA Has Six Months but my other big question from the last blog post still applies.
You can read this information here - http://transparency.number10.gov.uk/transparency/srp/view-srp/34/22