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PerfICT

The end (of football) is nigh!

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I don't know if anybody else was as alarmed by this as I was:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/35557830

So, the concept is that certain teams from a small set of European countries essentially get a bye into the Champions League on the basis of their size and pulling power, to the exclusion of those who would ordinarily have qualified. What??? That surely is the beginning of the end - why would the likes of Lecester and Spurs bother, if only Chelsea, Man U, Arsenal and Liverpool were getting CL places anyway??? And what does that mean for the Scottish Champions - it is the "Champions" League after all!

Coupled to this, there are suggestions that, with the soon-to-be majority of foreign investors in the Prem League, that they might wish to protect their investment by demanding league restructuring so that there is no longer relegation and promotion from and to the Premier league. Again, the suggestion is that this would be an invitation only league, creating a 2-tier system. Surely, that is the start of the end? Somebody somewhere is beginning to lose sight of what excites the paying public about sport - it is the very uncertainty about the final result that makes it exciting. It just so happens that ICT are a shining example - who would have thought that they could have beaten Celtic 3-1 away in the cup?

I don't usually agree with Doncaster, but in this case he is spot on - this is sinister with the potential to genuinely destroy the professional game, with a few invitiation-only exhibition leagues around the world and then national "diddy"  leagues below them, with no opportunity to gain promotion ot the big time. You might argue that Scottish football is already in that place, but for me the money is strangling the game and I hope the fans continue to exercise their power to shove these money-grabbing initiatives back where they belong.

Yours disillusioned....

Thoughts?

 

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So Doncaster's position is... 

Favoritism towards big clubs in European competition - outrageous.
Favoritism towards big clubs in domestic competition - good for the game. 

That's 'sporting integrity' folks.

 

Edited by AlexJones
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At the end of the day, the TV companies want to broadcast what the public want to see.  And the companies who spend their billions on advertising will pay more if more are watching.  This is an international business and the fact is that TV audiences worldwide want to watch the big clubs and the best players.  Given that the audiences for the big money games are not actually in the countries where those games are played, the wishes of the fans who actually go and watch the matches simply don't get a look in.  The gulf in wealth between the top clubs and the rest will get ever wider as will the gulf in wages between the top players and the rest.  But that seems to be life.  It happens in the film industry and the music industry and we, as consumers, fuel this imbalance by buying the products.  It's not right but I don't see things changing any time soon.

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True, DD...except, they still need an atmosphere, which means punters turning up. I'm interested to see what the Chinese dimension will bring - you mention big markets, and there are none bigger. It seems that their present strategy is to try to buy the product and site it in China (by buying players).

Personally, I would prefer to watch wholesome part-time football than contribute to an exhibition (which is why I'll never have Sky or BT).

 

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3 hours ago, DoofersDad said:

At the end of the day, the TV companies want to broadcast what the public want to see.  And the companies who spend their billions on advertising will pay more if more are watching.  This is an international business and the fact is that TV audiences worldwide want to watch the big clubs and the best players.  Given that the audiences for the big money games are not actually in the countries where those games are played, the wishes of the fans who actually go and watch the matches simply don't get a look in.  The gulf in wealth between the top clubs and the rest will get ever wider as will the gulf in wages between the top players and the rest.  But that seems to be life.  It happens in the film industry and the music industry and we, as consumers, fuel this imbalance by buying the products.  It's not right but I don't see things changing any time soon.

I remember reading a quote somewhere from the well traveled English manager Bob Houghton.  He claimed that the Hong Kong national league used to be a very good standard.  Then the EPL and other major European leagues started getting shown on TV and people didn't want to watch the local sides anymore and thus the standard dropped.

I've always found it strange as well that people who are the loudest to moan about kick-off times and claim to be 'against modern football' are the same ones who subscribe to Sky and BT.  The very root of the problem.  You also see now the concept of Inverness-based people who claim to be Man City and Chelsea fans.  Would you have seen that 20 years ago?  

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4 hours ago, AlexJones said:

So Doncaster's position is... 

Favoritism towards big clubs in European competition - outrageous.
Favoritism towards big clubs in domestic competition - good for the game. 

That's 'sporting integrity' folks.

 

My feelings exactly. The Scottish football establishment allows Celtic and Rangers to do what they like. And I don't just mean Rangers owing millions, going totally bust and a new club of that name, playing in a ground which any decent society would have insisted was sold to honour these debts, being parachuted straight into the Third Division without as much as a selection process.

I also agree strongly with what DD said. We are already in a situation where TV requirements are calling the shots to a greater and greater extent and there is no reason why this shouldn't happen more and more. Even in the case of ICT does anyone happen to know how many of the 16/17 pre split home games are 3pm Saturday kick offs?

I read a claim the other day that almost a tenth of the world's population claim to be ManU "supporters". The game is going to focus more and more on the very biggest teams and there is going to be an increasing disconnect between the haves, who will be watched in full stadia and also by huge TV audiences as well as followed on social media.... and the have nots who will be watched by smaller and smaller crowds with even those who claim to be their true fans relying more and more on tablets and smart phones to follow progress and watch highlights rather than pay to watch at the ground.

Renegade has also just commented on the increasing number of local people becoming fans of ManU, Chelsea etc. Yes, there has possibly been a bit of a recent retreat from Celtic and especially Rangers but rather than redirect towards ICT I fear that many are going the way Renegade suggests.

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Agree. My son (lifelong ICT fan) came home from secondary school the other day indicating that he needed to choose a Barclays Prem League team to "support". The reason was that the chat at school was all about English football; Scottish football hardly features. Some are off to watch Arsenal this week and others have been to Old Trafford and Stamford Bridge this season. It's hard to compete against this juggernaut! For me, that's the best argument of all for genuine summer football - avoid the competition for exposure.

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I know I've said this before but the first time I went over the pond in 1998 I went to a couple of baseball games and got interested. I discovered that you have these elite teams in the top level (majors) where players earn umpteen million dollars, the place is awash with sponsorship, etc etc,  then below that, the minors, where it's virtually just park leagues. Nothing in between.

Everybody knows what happens there comes here 10 years later and so it's come to pass. Champions' League and EPL on TV have bred a generation of people who can tell you all about the best players/teams in the world but they've never experienced the real thing.

I watch 3 or 4 PremierLeague games a season and at ticket prices often over £50 the VFM is poor, although the highlights on MOTD always make it look good. 

Anyway, off to pay my £5 to see Bonnyrigg Rose v Pollok in the last 16 of the Junior Cup, that's if they get the snow cleared.

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2 hours ago, PerfICT said:

The reason was that the chat at school was all about English football; Scottish football hardly features.

Unfortunately, despite the Scottish Cup sitting on a shelf nearby, that state of affairs is hardly surprising in a school, given the nature of Scottish football.

I mean that from two points of view. Firstly, the overall product is poor and pretty insignificant relative to the bigger picture, although not much worse than you should expect in a small population base of 5 million where a hugely disproportionate slice of resources are being hogged by just two clubs. And that brings me on to my second point. In any educational establishment, I could understand if there were reservations about getting too embroiled in a set up which is dominated by two bodies which in turn are front organisations for intolerance and much else that is completely undesirable in Scottish society.

One other concern is the extent to which Scottish football tends to be right up its own backside in terms of its delusions of importance. This is possibly epitomised by Stuart and Tam on Off The Ball, which is so parochial that the uninitiated could be pardoned for concluding that the entire world revolves round "Scoa'ish Fitba".

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One of the major concerns for me in all of this is that the focus is on branding rather than on the quality or the entertainment value of the football.  This has increasingly been the case in recent years as the "European Cup" has morphed into the "Champion's League" and we have the group stages which clearly generate a lot of money but which often tend to produce some rather lack lustre games.  All it does is give more games to the privileged clubs that reach that stage and ensure maximum exposure of the big brands.  And then what is even more outrageous is that some of the clubs which fail to progress in that competition get a second bite of the cherry in the Europa League (group stages and all).

From a fans perspective, I would rather go back to the old format where the champions of each nation played home and away against one team in each round.  Same with the Cup Winners' Cup.  In that way all countries had the same right of entry as as any other and where, if a top team had an off day, smaller clubs could come through to win.  The 3rd competition (once the" Fairs cup") allowed a few more teams from the bigger leageus a taste of European football which is fair enough.  That system almost guaranteed the big clubs European football each year but also allowed the likes of Celtic and Aberdeen from Scotland and Villa and Forest in England to seize their opportunities and win major European trophies against the odds.  That would just never happen now.

Not only is it the way the competitions are structured, it is the way the money is distributed that makes it so hard for other teams to break into the big time.  Television money and the exposure television brings means that as soon as decent players emerge from smaller clubs, they are snapped up which makes it increasingly difficult for the smaller clubs to compete.  Of course, there will always be circumstances where smaller clubs emerge to upset the apple cart (such as Leicester City this season) but in the longer run, the big brands will become increasingly dominant.  Unless a way can be found to revise the structure of competition and the distribution of television money in favour of fairness, then we will continue this trend towards branding and away from diversity.

 

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6 hours ago, Charles Bannerman said:

 

One other concern is the extent to which Scottish football tends to be right up its own backside in terms of its delusions of importance. This is possibly epitomised by Stuart and Tam on Off The Ball, which is so parochial that the uninitiated could be pardoned for concluding that the entire world revolves round "Scoa'ish Fitba".

Can't agree with this at all. I think you'd look long and hard to find anybody with any such delusions amongst the fanbase, while Jim Farry, Ernie Walker etc are pushing up daisies. 

As for Off The Ball, it's parochial - ehh, that's kind of the point? A self-deprecating programme broadcast in Scotland, for Scottish fans, which avoids pandering to the ugly sisters. Stuart Cosgrove is a vastly experienced non-parochial media figure and Tam his wee muppet. I wonder how you would improve it? 

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42 minutes ago, TheMantis said:

Can't agree with this at all. I think you'd look long and hard to find anybody with any such delusions amongst the fanbase, while Jim Farry, Ernie Walker etc are pushing up daisies. 

As for Off The Ball, it's parochial - ehh, that's kind of the point? A self-deprecating programme broadcast in Scotland, for Scottish fans, which avoids pandering to the ugly sisters. Stuart Cosgrove is a vastly experienced non-parochial media figure and Tam his wee muppet. I wonder how you would improve it? 

Today's programme found me sympathising with the Americans as enlightened citizens of the world. Following the Scottish Cup draw, OTB were looking for suggestions of other great blunders and came up with the mixing up of the North and South Korean flags at Hampden. However they couldn't remember at which event this took place - and their short list included the Commonwealth Games!

Well, last time I looked, neither Korea was a member of the Commonwealth - unless I've missed Her Majesty receiving a humble bow from the Little Fat Leader with the Silly Haircut.

How would I improve it? Take it off the air. Much as it pains me to admit this, I thought that even Traynor's Your Call was a lot better, and actually better still when Chic stood in. With the current format, you'd be better putting a microphone in a pub in front of two random guys shouting at each other. Quite frankly, seven solid hours on a Saturday of nothing but increasingly moribund Scottish football, often on all frequencies, is really too much and the best way to sort that is as suggested.

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I can understand that allowing people on the radio who are not of a high enough intellectual standard must be very upsetting for you!

Also that you picked such a poor example to convince us that we're all up our own backsides... If your memory tells you Traynor was better, you must be showing early signs of dementia :wink:

Nah, I quite like OTB on the odd occasion I manage to hear it (I didn't today). I see Spiers is on it too. I'm a Scottish football fan. It's what Saturdays are for. The standard is poor but it's all we have. It's never anything like 7 hours anyway if you go to a game. Spend the day getting all the updates then MOTD at night. Magic :drinking05:

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Well this little recent speech by Mr. Doncaster should convince a few people that any delusions they ever had about local prestige and entertainment and fairness is like living in dreamland.

http://www.bbc.com/sport/football/35557830

Football the world over ( especially in the dynamic money leagues such as the Premiership in England) now is, like it always has been for quite some time now, about MONEY and little else. Money can be  such a pervasive , insinuatingly  selfish and de-grading energy force that it can intimidate and seduce almost anybody  except those with very strong principles.....or a very deep and abiding love for their  chosen entity.

And yet, some will continue to argue that , even in today's world, it has it's uses?  Er. who is right?

If Doncaster is right, then football is going to be in decline all over the globe because he is pointing out that it will cease to be all-inclusive from the tiny toddler to the Messi's and his bosses of this realm. Gawd help us, Charlie Brown...........!

Comments ?

 

 

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I think CB may have missed the point of OTB. It bills itself as the most petty and ill informed football show on the air, and lives up to it! It's irreverent style is no accident and is a welcome reprieve from the seriousness, and repetitiveness, of Scottish football coverage. Sure, it's not going to win many awards (although, if I remember right, it has done so in the past?) but I enjoy it when I manage to catch it.

Where I would be critical is regarding the SportSound offering in general nowadays. Inarticulate ex-players on open all mikes, every discussion generally reverting to the 'glory days' (i.e. pre 1990...) and a general staleness. Don't get me started on SportScene either. Absolute amateurish, parochial, over cosy mince. I often listen to 5live on a Saturday and it really is chalk and cheese in comparison. Professional reporters combined with decent interviews and features, you'd scarcely believe it was from the same organisation. I appreciate that the budgets may be a little (majorly) different, but surely the producers themselves must wince at OAM whenever forgotten never was ex-footballer #23 utters the same standard cliche over, and over, again?

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Going back to the original point of the thread....

Anyone who doesn't realise that the Champions League was designed to catapult/guarantee the inclusion of a select set of teams pretty much from the outset is blind. You just have to look at how coefficients etc are calculated to realise that it is heavily skewed and designed to keep the wee teams/nations out.  Criticise this new approach all you like, but at least it's honest in it's corruption.

Those running the game at the highest level aren't interested in football fans. What they want are consumers and TV has been killing fans and producing consumers for over 30 years now.

It's not about the sport anymore....about having teams competing on a level playing field.  It's about entertainment and generating as many blockbusters for the TV as they can....because that's where the money is.

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10 hours ago, CaleyD said:

Going back to the original point of the thread....

Anyone who doesn't realise that the Champions League was designed to catapult/guarantee the inclusion of a select set of teams pretty much from the outset is blind. You just have to look at how coefficients etc are calculated to realise that it is heavily skewed and designed to keep the wee teams/nations out.  Criticise this new approach all you like, but at least it's honest in it's corruption.

Those running the game at the highest level aren't interested in football fans. What they want are consumers and TV has been killing fans and producing consumers for over 30 years now.

It's not about the sport anymore....about having teams competing on a level playing field.  It's about entertainment and generating as many blockbusters for the TV as they can....because that's where the money is.

Yes, the coefficient is a thin veil to try to hide a cunning ruse to keep all the big boys at the party, but it can have a modicum of effect if a nation performs poorly for a few years (listen to the bleating South of the border about the possibility of "losing" their 4th CL spot (as if it were a God-given right and another Italian team will dilute the quality!)

I agree with DD that a return to a straight knockout for champions is what this should be, but those days are long gone now that the cash return for a league system has been realised. Ruminigge's plan is simply stage 2 to close the shop completely and make sure Bayern et al retain an even bigger piece of the pie. Doncaster's hypocrisy (colluding to help Rangers return to their "rightful" place at whatever cost, while criticising the CL plan) is laughable, but you don't expect anything different from our corrupt footballing authorities.

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15 hours ago, TheMantis said:

 I'm a Scottish football fan. It's what Saturdays are for.

Well at least it used to be - before we had imposed on us Sunday afternoons, Sunday lunchtimes, Friday nights, Monday nights, more Tuesday nights, Wednesday nights.....

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On 2/12/2016 at 10:34 PM, Charles Bannerman said:

My feelings exactly. The Scottish football establishment allows Celtic and Rangers to do what they like. And I don't just mean Rangers owing millions, going totally bust and a new club of that name, playing in a ground which any decent society would have insisted was sold to honour these debts, being parachuted straight into the Third Division without as much as a selection process.

I also agree strongly with what DD said. We are already in a situation where TV requirements are calling the shots to a greater and greater extent and there is no reason why this shouldn't happen more and more. Even in the case of ICT does anyone happen to know how many of the 16/17 pre split home games are 3pm Saturday kick offs?

I read a claim the other day that almost a tenth of the world's population claim to be ManU "supporters". The game is going to focus more and more on the very biggest teams and there is going to be an increasing disconnect between the haves, who will be watched in full stadia and also by huge TV audiences as well as followed on social media.... and the have nots who will be watched by smaller and smaller crowds with even those who claim to be their true fans relying more and more on tablets and smart phones to follow progress and watch highlights rather than pay to watch at the ground.

Renegade has also just commented on the increasing number of local people becoming fans of ManU, Chelsea etc. Yes, there has possibly been a bit of a recent retreat from Celtic and especially Rangers but rather than redirect towards ICT I fear that many are going the way Renegade suggests.

As things stand we've played 12 home league games this season and 9 have been 3 pm saturday

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On 2/13/2016 at 10:13 PM, CaleyD said:

Going back to the original point of the thread....

Anyone who doesn't realise that the Champions League was designed to catapult/guarantee the inclusion of a select set of teams pretty much from the outset is blind. You just have to look at how coefficients etc are calculated to realise that it is heavily skewed and designed to keep the wee teams/nations out.  Criticise this new approach all you like, but at least it's honest in it's corruption.

Those running the game at the highest level aren't interested in football fans. What they want are consumers and TV has been killing fans and producing consumers for over 30 years now.

It's not about the sport anymore....about having teams competing on a level playing field.  It's about entertainment and generating as many blockbusters for the TV as they can....because that's where the money is.

That just about nails it. It's all about ratings.

Big teams, big stars, big stadiums, huge TV audiences, but ultimately boring games. 

I remember watching Dundee Utd v Roma on TV back in the 80's. European Cup semi-final  (yes, Dundee Utd, I know, seems implausible now). They qualified for the European Cup because they won the league. They got to the semi-final simply because they were a good team.

Nowadays the SPL winners don't even automatically qualify for the Champions League!  

 

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