Part of this article was originally posted as a response to Lyndon’s article on the closure of the amortisation loophole. Forgive me if those who read previously are irked by its modified repetition, however it occurred to me after posting that we all complain, but exactly what could or should be addressed to limit the “corruption” accusation against the Premier League or at the very least the obvious bias, towards the top four darlings of the brand Premier League. It should be added that many fans of other clubs feel exactly the same way as many of us do.

With the advent of a government regulator, what would be the main areas that we as fans believe should be addressed? No one is suggesting penalising intentionally the current top clubs, but then again the current situation has been allowed to grow like a huge cancer on the game and is reminiscent of George Orwell’s Animal Farm, all are equal, but some are more equal than others..

The Premier League and its sugar daddy, Sky, have corrupted the English game to the point where it is no longer an open, fair or viable enterprise for anyone outside the Top 6 clubs.

What are the principles that need to be followed to ensure the game is played on a level playing field (was it ever such?) where skill and endeavour are not bought with a bottomless pocket and the bending or ignoring of the rules. We need to progress from the current model of the Premier League without killing clubs or the hope of fans. How can it be done?

1. The rules of any league are not there for the clubs to decide, they should be truly independent of vested interest.

2. A level playing field including salary caps and transfer limits in value and number per club must be introduced.

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3. No club can spend more than a pre-set realistic transfer kitty ceiling adjusted each season. The same for each club. Wages for players cannot exceed a club basket value.

4. Financial regulations should not limit the ability to challenge and the current FFP and P&S rules are not fit for purpose and should be scrapped. A new set of regulations based around player salary caps and transfer income and expenditure over a season must be introduced. Amortisation can only be done over the lifetime of 3 years.

5. Transfer windows are abolished. As long as a club spends within its limits, a player can be bought or sold at any point.

6. No club can be sold to a state. No owner(s) can have more than one interest in the same league.

7. All club board members must be answerable to an AGM. Fans have a right to be heard and ask questions.

8. Television rights are to be shared in a more equitable fashion both within the Premier League and its so-called lower pyramid of lower leagues. At least 50% of all monies for rights on any league must be distributed evenly.

9. Whilst condemning the Premier League, one shouldn't forget the power that Sky have over them. It's an incestuous relationship, both would not survive without the other.

For the sake of fans alone, the bidding war for showing rights cannot be the sole domain of one company and whilst the income is required to all clubs the stranglehold of Sky needs to be broken or limited. It should be No 9 on my list.

10. Fans Input. We continue to be the lifeblood of any club, any league, yet the view of any fans are almost inconsequential to the power and control the league and television companies have. The setting of kick-off times, the fixture lists, the number of games played in any period of time.

What was seen as a lip-service to an increasingly volatile fan base, Everton introduced their Fan Advisory Board – it should be incumbent on every club to have one, with a set of guidelines for its voice and cooperation. Although FAB was a club initiative, its growth and influence has surpassed the club's original intent. Although they would deny this, the FAB was in open revolt with the club in its vote of no confidence in the board.

One thing is certain, the Premier League in its present format cannot grow or even exist for any length of time.

I am sure there are plenty more initiatives that could or should be considered by an independent regulator, the sooner the better. What do you think should be done?

And no, I haven't even mentioned the VAR or the referee standards yet...

Reader Comments (29)

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Derek Thomas
1 Posted 15/12/2023 at 07:23:51
Laudable sentiments Christine, but I doubt 10% will come to pass.

They sold me a (Premier League) dream of Christmas

They sold me a silent night

And they told me a fairy story

'Til I believed in their load of shite

And I believed in father Christmas

I looked to the sky with excited eyes

That I woke with a yawn in the first light of dawn

And I saw him and through his disguise

I wish you a hopeful Christmas

I wish you a brave new year

All anguish, pain and sadness

Leave your heart and let your road be clear

They said there'd be snow at Christmas

They said there'll be peace on earth

Hallelujah, Noel be it heaven or hell

The Christmas we get we deserve

Christine Foster
2 Posted 15/12/2023 at 07:44:57
Derek, we have a right to be cynical, but unless we start with even the 10% it will continue to get worse. The likes of Everton are mere playthings, stocking fillers of no consequence. Baubles that fell off the Christmas tree behind the TV, forgotten. Unless we have a stake in the ground we cannot go forward, we can only fail.
John Burns
3 Posted 15/12/2023 at 08:04:42
Christine, that is an excellent well thought out document that would be the perfect blueprint for a fairer way forward. However, like Derek I can’t see it happening. I really hope I’m wrong, but the Premier League in its present format is the Golden Goose for Sky and the PL. They won’t kill it and I doubt any Government will meaningfully intervene.

On another note Christine, I think you have mentioned you originated from Portland Gardens. ( I think it was you!). My dad and grandparents came from there too.

Christine Foster
4 Posted 15/12/2023 at 08:18:51
Hi John, had lots of family in both blocks at Portland Gardens, funny enough, mum and dad ended up in Titchfield street, the street that separated the two blocks..
Certainly Sky or the Premier League won't want change, but a regulator might just decide that absolute power corrupts absolutely and invokes some changes, to the detriment of them both.
Danny O’Neill
5 Posted 15/12/2023 at 08:43:52
Good read that Christine. Regulation and audit is a key theme. As it stands the Premier League seems to regulate itself. In my experience, the process was an Internal audit followed by an external one. Either way, it was assisted and conducted by independent auditors external from the company..

I've used that Animal Farm quote a lot recently. It is very relevant.

Level playing field. I suppose if we're honest, we could reflect on the Mersey millionaires. There has always been an element of the richest clubs spending the most succeeding. But now it is on a totally different scale and unfair. It's virtually impossible to break the so called glass ceiling.

I agree with you on transfer windows.

AGM and fans' voice being heard. Absolutely. Get the club and the fans connected and back together again after the past few years of disconnection. Maybe something the FAB can take up?

On VAR & officials. I've been very vocal and opinionated. I personally don't think VAR is this issue. It works in other sports. It's the competence of the officials whether they are on the pitch or in Stockley Park stood around the coffee machine.

Get them in the stadium. Get the vocal and communicate their decision making. Make them transparent and accountable.

We've got Burnley tomorrow. Spirit.

Kevin Prytherch
6 Posted 15/12/2023 at 09:19:39
The original transfer window (was it up until March?) was in place so they teams challenging for the title couldn’t weaken other teams by buying their best players close to the end of the season.

For that reason - I think there should still be a cut off.

The current one doesn’t work - again it favours the big clubs with strong enough squads to cope with injuries.

Paul Hewitt
7 Posted 15/12/2023 at 09:39:22
I don't think many evertonians where bothered about a level playing field when Moshiri first arrived,and we started spending money. It's only since it's gone wrong we now wanting it. Me personally, spend what you want. If your owner is willing to spend then it should be allowed.
Tony Abrahams
8 Posted 15/12/2023 at 09:54:33
It hurts me deeply inside when I think about what football has been allowed to become in this country of ours.

On one hand the power of the EPL should be lauded, when you consider how well they have marketed themselves to become a league that probably meets 99% of the globe, but they have got to be careful before the greed of the beast becomes its own downfall.

Remember twenty is plenty? A great initiative from fans of different clubs all over the country. They eventually agreed on £30 for an away match ticket, and then most of the clubs then reduced the away capacity. (Fact)

How greedy? The militant in me is sure we could get it reduced to £5 if every fan of every club came together, but I know most people haven’t got the inclination to vote with their feet.

We grew up in this country getting told we had the right to free speech, but they didn’t tell us just as long as we don’t upset the powers that be, and I say this after reading that Burnley are next opponents have posted something saying flags are not allowed.

The men in suits are pulling rank, but some amongst them will now know that they never thought their very disproportionate actions through enough, and rather than being careful because we know they have been upset by our response, we should keep highlighting what has happened, by keeping on the pressure like yesterday, outside their premises in London👏

Barry Hesketh
9 Posted 15/12/2023 at 10:16:27
Football has gone the same way as supermarkets and banks. Have a certain number of high profile brands, ensure that they get any and all of the advantages available to them, and the rest have to compete with each other in a battle for survival.

Unfortunately, football is supposed to be a sport, so it's devalued the game for many people, by having such a system in place.

The Premier League administrators are far more interested in commercial outcomes rather than sporting outcomes, and most of their decisions are made with the commercial side of things in mind.

A government regulator at this point in time, won't be very different, as they too will concentrate on the income streams and commercial profiles, in fact it's very possible that a Government led initiative will lead to worse outcomes for some of the financially weaker clubs.

The horse has well and truly bolted, and there's little chance of anybody being able to oversee the game, in a way that suits all of the participants.

Every action that any regulator takes, will be met by resistance by those who wish to see the current system remain in place, and they will continue to push for a greater share of the cake, by using spurious arguments and their vast wealth to push back against anything that reduces their current competitive advantage.

Dave Abrahams
10 Posted 15/12/2023 at 10:26:37
The Premier League are frightened of a Government Regulator being appointed Christine, they’d be terrified if someone like you, who knows the score and has plenty of answers to how the Premier League could be improved, was appointed.

Carry on girl, your principles may not not be implemented but they can’t stop you talking about them, they definitely won’t listen to them, too much common sense in them that would be great for all the clubs, the Premier League doesn’t exist for all the clubs but just the favoured few.

Christine Foster
11 Posted 15/12/2023 at 10:35:52
Of course we have every right to be cynical, believe nothing will change for the better, that it's too late. The road back begins with one step. I don't care which, but I do care. Enough to believe the Andy Burnham's of the world who see corruption and want change. Take your pick of the points stated, doesn't matter which one, but put the banner in the ground and lobby, shout, influence, get Burnham as the new Chairman, get him as the new PM, effect a change. Otherwise the EPL will fall under the weight of its own corruption.
Simon Harrison
12 Posted 15/12/2023 at 12:02:10
Christine, welcome back to the fold! We have missed you and your contributions!

When you penned this;

"Enough! Now you can see why I no longer write! Opinionated scouser at the end of the world... Born Blue, for better, for worse..."
in the other thread, AFTER posting some very pertinent and cogent points re the EPL and amortisation.

I had a feeling that your inner sense of 'fair play' and justice for all, not just the few had been stirred, or awoken again.

I am by no means irked by you reposting this as an independant thread. It needed to be posted!

If I hadn't been busy with my own ramblings, I would have returned there to urge you to submit it for posting.

Again, in the other thread you posted some more insight into your feelings, which I will take the liberty to post here. NB These are your words and feelings Christine, yet I am sure that the vast majority who visit these pages take to heart too.

"I confess to feeling out of sync on TW sometimes and I guess the days have gone when I would sit and write articles of great length or dubious insight. Kirkby and Kenwright fanned the flame in my heart because I just knew it was a con because I have worked for people like that, understood the message unsaid or the people they associated with. As I said, joined the dots...

The vested interests of the Premier League are clear in all they say and do but, as I remember Tonto saying, "White man speak with forked tongue" and 'corrupt' is a strong accusation. But it's not about money in brown envelopes under the table, it's about the decisions made behind closed doors, quiet conversations and the arrogance of power that they think assigns them to act one way and do the opposite out of the sight of their audience.

When such power and control is threatened, then token efforts are made, harming those clubs it can, without damaging the brand. That's the corruption unspoken, the lack of a level playing field, the decisions made to appease the brand or its empire builders.

I watched the Chelsea match: no banners, no chants, muted or canned crowd noise, sanitized and passionless, all to appease the brand. Interviews without contentious views only, otherwise binned. Yet through it all are the fans, singularly united for the first time in a generation, and I am proud of that – no matter what they try to do to us.

Scousers are a contentious lot, opinionated, aggressive, funny… but never try to besmirch or do us down, we have a peculiar sense of righteousness when people try to do us down – we are the thorn in the side of those who believe themselves to be better. We know what's right or wrong and don't suffer fools, liars or con-men of any cloth.

The Premier League did pick the wrong club to make an example of; it will not prevent the introduction of a football regulator. It will damage their brand and continue to do so but their arrogance is a thin veil covering up treatment of clubs and supporters they consider bit players in their game."

Apologies for maybe puting those words back in your mouth as it were, but...

They needed to be said here!

Whereas I see the machinery behind and within the Club and that limits my observations, because that is what I am interested in.

However, you Christine see the bigger picture, feel the mood of the room, and identify with the fan base. Especially as being a Liverpudlian, whereas I am not. (I'm from the W. Lancs Fylde peninsula)

Your professional career has given you insight in how the holders and controllers of power operate.

Your Life experience and upbringing brings you the so-called 'common touch', which allows you to connect with the fans of the Club and the denizens of the City.

Please, remember you are a concise voice, with clarity in all you write, and a directness that cuts through the 'Gordian knot' of the Realpolitiks surrounding the club.

With you this site is more, much more, than without your reasoned and clear observations and opinions.

There is just one more thing, as a certain someone would say; I would like attempt to correct you on one small thing.

The journey back starts before the first return step.

The journey back starts by stopping your current journey, and realising it is not a journey worth continuing.

With the death of the former Chairman, and the obvious attempt to sell-up by Moshiri, the journey Everton has been on has been stopped.

It is time to now turn and plot a new journey to new heights and new accomplishments. If possible...

To coin my newly minted phrase.


PS "I confess to feeling out of sync on TW sometimes and I guess the days have gone when I would sit and write articles of great length or dubious insight."
Don't worry Christine there is some idiot on here who seems to have taken up that particular baton. Hehe

Christine Foster
13 Posted 15/12/2023 at 12:37:25
Simon, how do I follow that? Thank you but clarity and passion seem oft at odds with all things blue..
Must be like my mum God bless her, always had to have the last word, she probably said Amen after being given the last rights..
Truth and justice are never good bedfellows, especially when judgement is delivered by those who are not interested in either. There appears to be a concerted efort by the league to ignore, prevent, mask or silence the fans protests in collusion with Sky on the televising of our games and now obviously pressuring opposing clubs to limit or prevent protest no matter how small.
Any chance of getting a points reduction from them went out the window in a sea of pink cards and latterly on green. We may lose a battle to win a war, but the genie is out of the bottle, it made news world wide.
Any writings I make can be but a pin prick to those who feel untouchable, but we are a toothache that won't go away..
Mark Boullé
14 Posted 15/12/2023 at 17:21:55
Good article, Christine.

Just for the fun of playing devil's advocate, supposing we had had competent owners with the commercial nous to take advantage of our traditional 'Big 5' status at the advent of the Premier League, or indeed if the King's Dock had gone through with the transformative effect on the club's fortunes that may well have had...

In other words, supposing we had become one of the moneyed Sky darlings, would you (and others) still be calling out perceived corruption, a need for change and so on?

Sadly, I don't suppose the fans of Man City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and so on think there's much wrong with the current model.

Barry Rathbone
15 Posted 15/12/2023 at 17:38:53
Unless I've totally misunderstood American sports aren't they the masters of sharing silverware about?

Isn't that essentially the aim of a level playing field?

I remember Channel 4 introducing an American Football highlights program here in the UK and originally it was a great success before dying a death.

Snippets I've seen since show all kinds of teams winning the super league (some weren't about back in the day) and there's something about it that seems a bit weird. It feels contrived and not particularly passionate almost not authentic.

I dunno, maybe I've got it completely wrong.

Be interested to hear from the Americans about the rights and wrongs of a heavily regulated sport sharing the spoils compared to present day "money is all" football.

John Keating
16 Posted 15/12/2023 at 19:26:14
I believe the corrupt "independent" commission set up by the equally corrupt Premier League, its appeals commission and commission set up to support the Clubs looking for a pay off from us, will see out, to the best of their ability the maximum punishment possible on us.

The Government will then step in to install their own regulator.

Sky and their flunkeys at the Premier League will notice no difference to their money-making machine.

The Government regulator will oversea the Man City, Chelsea et al inquiries and will either bestow little if any punishment on them, or, totally ignore any misdemeanour perpetrated prior to the installation of the regulator.

It will be yet another "Niasse" moment whereby we alone will be punished.

Stu Darlington
17 Posted 16/12/2023 at 17:27:14
Thanks Christine
I love articles that promote discussion and opinion about the state of the game and your article certainly does that.
The posts also reflect a healthy variety of views amongst regular contributors to TW which is great to see.
One line from Barry’s post @9 sums it up perfectly for me.He said” Unfortunately,football is supposed to be a sport “.
Well it used to be,but its main descriptor now has to be it’s a multi billion pound international business.
Consequently it has been taken out of the hands of the fans by global big business whose only interest in the “ sport “ is its marketability and their own bottom line.Maybe also where state ownership is involved and money is fairly meaningless to them the motive is to “ sports wash”their unsavoury regimes in the eyes of the world
Gone are the days when as a student in Liverpool,I could rock up on a Saturday afternoon,pay at the gate and still have a bit left for a few pints after the game
Big money will always win out and its availability attracts parasites like the Premier League,Sky TV, TNT,pundits and greedy agents all of whom have more influence over the game now than the loyal supporters.
We can argue that Everton would welcome wealthy investors,just like the sixties when we were known as the “millionaires “ club under John Moores. Truth is their can never be a level playing playing field where money or investment is concerned,there will always be variations club to club.What should not vary are the rules that all clubs subscribe to.Contrast that with the treatment Everton have received compared to the big six and the ESL debacle,clubs going into administration or breaking financial rules.
What can be done about it I have no idea,but the best bet for me seems to be the setting up of a totally independent body appointed by Parliament to oversee the fair and equitable running of football in the U.K. That would mean all professional and amateur football in the UK giving us a fully joined up and consistent approach to the game at all levels
The Premier League would resist this with all the resources under its control as the financial stakes are so high and my guess would be that big money would always win out.
VAR,refereeing standards,managers behaviour and bad examples set by players are yet another set of problems that are begging to be addressed but the powers that be seem very reluctant to do so.Attacking visiting teams buses,throwing things that injure rival supporters,and managers running onto the pitch should all be dealt with by the Premier League,that is of course if it’s not just harmless banter or getting carried away by the emotion of the moment!!!Ah well as has been said some clubs are more equal than others.
Si Cooper
18 Posted 17/12/2023 at 02:31:58
I can't remember ever fundamentally disagreeing with anything Christine has posted but I am still hoping someone can properly explain Sky's agenda / machinations to create a closed-shop for the silverware.

Is it because having a super-wealthy elite in the Premier League means (a few) English clubs can dominate in Europe ad infinitum?

I can see why that appeals to the Premier League bosses who want their product to be the ‘best' when tested by rival leagues but I'm not sure it follows that Sky should value the same. All Sky wants is subscribers, people who will pay for the coverage. If that ‘whole' comes from supporters of a range of clubs, why is it of concern to Sky who dominates?

I understand they will likely show some degree of bias to whoever is most successful as their fans most are likely to be looking to subscribe and keep it going, but don't see that their payments to the Premier League (and then on to the clubs) have been the prime barrier to anyone upsetting the status quo.

Did Sky prevent or promote the rise of Chelsea or Man City, or just make sure they (Sky) capitalised on it?

Likewise, I can easily understand why Sky are careful not to piss-off the Premier League bosses; there is no overall benefit to themselves by doing it. But does that automatically equate to collusion or sycophancy?

It's just not Sky's job to ensure a level playing field but that doesn't mean they are deliberately orchestrating it and I think they could make just as much money if all was fair. After all they show and promote plenty of sports that do have mechanisms in place to prevent domination by a ‘cartel' of clubs.

Alan J Thompson
19 Posted 17/12/2023 at 05:46:32
One of the things I used to like about English football was the pursuit of the almost perfect, there were no salary caps or player drafts, no attempts to make all teams equal but, strangely, that all seemed to go out of the window when too much money was introduced although Johnny Haynes and Marc Bosman might disagree.

But then European competitions and their TV rights were not so intrusive and perhaps it is the monies from those competitions that needs spreading more widely, although I don't see how this might help newly promoted teams.

The alternatives seem to be regulating how many non-British (Isles?) or home grown players can take to the park in any game. This may also negate the pursuit of the ultimate but would it deter the billionaires etc that seem to be needed as owners? Or should those same owners have to deposit or guarantee monies to ensure all teams can at least complete their fixtures, or should all clubs be made to list on the stock market.

I don't know that we need an even (or fair?) financial playing field which there never has been but I do wonder about the parameters of financial restrictions being imposed to stop clubs going under and would points penalties see clubs relegated to where they could never meet their financial obligations.

What tangled webs, eh?

Danny O’Neill
20 Posted 17/12/2023 at 06:30:32
Si, if I'm being impartial, it's kind of always been there. The Mersey Millionaires. The Big 5 of which we were in the club during the 80s prior to the formation of the Premier League.

Then we had the Top 4.

Now superseded by the Big 6 with a 7th pretender knocking at the door.

That's always been an interesting discussion Alan. If I recall (stand to be corrected), we tried the British player quota and "home grown". But it had loopholes. Arsenal under Wenger were masters of it. Bring in a foreign youngster at 14 and by the time he's been in the country for a period, he was considered "home grown"

I used to play Devil's Advocate on the debate. If you asked me 15 years ago, I used to say that if the British game was producing players of the the appropriate standard, there would be a reduced requirement to shop abroad as much. I think we've got a lot better, but could still do more at grass roots as the talent will be out there.

Plus, there's always been a premium on English players whereas go shopping on the continent, it's easier to pick up a relative bargain in comparison.

I like the foreign influence in our game. If you look at most continental players and the South Americans, they go and ply their trade elsewhere. Over the decades, that's probably something British players haven't really done apart from ones and twos.

It's educational to learn football in a different setting. Notwithstanding his outstanding talent, and although it was only a season's loan, that period at PSV for Branthwaite, playing in Europe, will have benefitted him no end.

FFP and Profit & Sustainability seemed good concepts when introduced, but in reality they assist in keeping those at the top in the club. Personally, I'd scrap them.

Christine Foster
21 Posted 17/12/2023 at 12:36:15
Si, you are quite right in stating that fundamentally Sky doesn't care which clubs are the best but it is definitely within its own interests to promote them, which they do at the detriment of all others. Just look at which clubs get the most cash, the most exposure, the most income equals the most profit which means they, and they alone, can afford the best, can ensure they have a better chance of silverware, greater profits, they are the king makers.

The way FFP and PSR works is to the detriment of any club outside of the cash cows who made up the 4 or the 6. The chances of any club consistently breaking that stranglehold under the present regime is impossible now. They get richer and the gap between the rest gets bigger every season.

New money bought better opportunities for wealth in the earlier years of the Premier League, but that door has been closed with FFP and the wealth those clubs have built up, their influence, the lack of intent by the Premier League to regulate or prosecute those who have disregarded or bent the rules (Chelsea's player contracts, Man City's 115 offenses, the breakaway six wanting a Super League while staying in the Premier League).

There is a clear correlation between the money, the success, the protection of certain clubs, bias of decision making… One should also not forget the muting of crowds in televised games, the deliberate evasion of protests by Sky and the Premier League – or has it escaped notice that television rights renegotiation has just concluded with Sky almost doubling the amount of games it can show?

I'll scratch your back if you scratch mine..

If the Sky television rights deal wasn't the monopoly it's become, then their influence on the EPL brand would be less and bias less too.

Michael Kenrick
22 Posted 17/12/2023 at 13:22:03
I know we're all supposed to be united and singing from the same song sheet but I'm not sure I can really buy into this Sky-bashing narrative that seems to have possessed you, Christine.

The difference in merit payments is not really all that great, neither is the extra appearance money paid to clubs being shown on domestic TV a little bit more frequently because they are performing better – the teams they are playing get appearance money too! But as a Sky subscriber, you pay the same whoever you support.

And you actually get a pretty decent and yes, balanced service for it. Look how they were buzzing over Everton's performance yesterday. This infamous bias you claim was strangely nowhere to be seen.

And do Sky really have a monopoly? I think the overseas package is bigger and they get to show all 380 games in every Premier League season, so perhaps they are exerting more of an influence than Sky?

Or perhaps they are actually providing more of the level playing field you crave because there is no selection — they cover every single Premier League game and the share of the overseas package is equal across all clubs — what could be fairer than that?

The difference really comes in the areas of money-making where Everton have been weak, verging on pathetic. Commercial income and sponsorship, some of the lowest ticket prices in the Premier League, while they sideline god knows how much on the much vaunted charity efforts to pump up their profiles in vainglorious pride…

No, if this club of 'ours' was run anything like a proper professional sporting entity, rather than a fucking charity, the incredible opportunity afforded to us by Moshiri's millions could have been far better spent.

But instead, this club is blighted by a history of gross corporate mismanagement and shocking business incompetence that has culminated in the totally botched 'defence' of their 'robust' case before the independent commission. Going in with a pathetic climb-down and admission that they had indeed broken the rules provides a fitting epitaph to the Kenwright era that I desperately hope is really at an end. What a legacy the old bugger has left us!

Christine Foster
23 Posted 17/12/2023 at 13:57:05
Michael, you don't have to remind me, of all people, how badly run this club has been, it's utter lack of commercialisation and its inability to grasp an opportunity that others did.

Indeed, I was not commenting on the overseas package of televised rights in my comments and you are correct in saying that you are far more likely to get a balanced veiwing option if you are not in the UK.

My "Sky bashing" related in response to Si's thoughts that found it difficult to see the influence of Sky in terms of bias or silverware, if you are in the UK you don't get the balanced set of games televised, they are selected, for this you get separate facility payments for how many games are shown (as well as merit payments for your position in the league) although appearance money differes with each club and can be significant, the subsequent appearances generate sponsorship and advertising revenue.. etc etc..

My apologies if it came across as bashing Sky, but no one can deny both the league and Sky need each other to increase the brand and profit.. nor can one say there is no bias shown by either the Premier League towards certain clubs or Sky in its coverage of games or football related matters.

P.s it's 3am.. going to stop thinking about Sky and get some sleep!

Si Cooper
24 Posted 17/12/2023 at 21:31:09
I think I acknowledged Sky show promotional preference to those clubs consistently on top and had business reasons for not being confrontational when it concerned the Premier League bosses, because that is how they make money from those most likely to subscribe and get good deals for themselves.

My question was why would it particularly suit Sky to have a closed shop at the top / winning silverware? There is just no reason for them to want that. More evenly spread competition would surely yield more easily marketable games and more subscribers.

The Premier League, however, are probably keen to have a few clubs grow so big that they can regularly beat the European giants.

Sky are simply into wealth creation, the Premier League want assured primacy.

Christine Foster
25 Posted 18/12/2023 at 07:01:33
Si, in principle yes, as I have said, they don't really care which 6 or 4 are the best, but its wealth creation from advertising does. I wonder what the differential is for advertising at half-time in a Man City v Man Utd class and a Burnley v Sheff Utd game? If a club becomes League Champions or European Champions then they attract premium advertising rates, so it's not just subscribers.

However, Sky's relationship is just a single element of the issues facing football in the Premier League. I came up with 10 possibles, no matter how unlikely, no one has any alternatives? Or do we just accept it and continue to complain?

Danny O’Neill
26 Posted 18/12/2023 at 09:12:31
I suppose Sky and the Premier League don't really care who the top clubs are as it has fluctuated over the years. Kevin Keegan's Newcastle were gushed over.

Let's face it, pre-Sky, Everton were never fashionable.

Here's an interesting read from the UK Government's Department of Culture Media & Sport:

Football Governance: Ninth Report of Session 2022–23

It's a long read, but I found this extract interesting:

The proposals for IREF have been broadly welcomed by football groups. Tracey Crouch, who led the Fan-Led Review, supported how the Government had taken forward the majority of her recommendations, although she noted that progress to date had been “relatively slow.”

Kevin Miles of the FSA supported the creation of IREF
and both EFL Chair Rick Parry and FA Chair Debbie Hewitt openly welcomed a financial regulator.

Richard Masters of the Premier League, would not commit to welcoming an Independent Regulator, but noted that the Premier League would “engage constructively […]accepting that it's happening.”

Si Cooper
27 Posted 18/12/2023 at 18:12:34
Christine (25),

Sky or any of its rivals who supersede it will always operate to maximise their return on their investment. It's not targeted at anyone in particular and can't be changed.

It's the Premier League bosses who can and must change their attitude and approach and ensure the Premier League is about the fair and level playing field all of us crave.

Rob Jones
28 Posted 18/12/2023 at 18:25:17
Sky have been very careful to sweeten crowd sounds, and to completely ignore fan protests at games they have screened.

There have been no Everton partisans on punditry or commentary. No opportunity for anyone to offer an alternative to the narrative being peddled.

Robert Williams
29 Posted 18/12/2023 at 18:52:05
Hi Christine, as always your views are worthy of consideration and are always heartfelt. Whether your suggestions are workable, or would pass muster, is a matter of debate.

However, Everton are a hot topic at the moment - World Football needs overhauling. We have never to my memory had so much publicity (I won't call it free, for everything has a price) and IMHO now is the time to strike, while the iron is hot and we have a modicum of a sympathy vote.

We have the fans, we are getting the basis of a half-decent team, we have to my mind, a pretty decent and honest manager, and we have people, supporters of other clubs who feel that we have been hard done by
Strike now – there will never be a better time.

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