> on October 4, 2011 in Portsmouth, England.

The Lead

The Premier League is rich, but they don’t want to spread the love. That’s the story the Guardian ran with this morning in light of record earnings from TV rights deals:

With the Premier League close to finalising a record £5.5bn windfall in broadcasting income, MPs have also warned of this being soaked up by a “culture of greed” at the top of the game and called for the money to be shared more widely to benefit the grassroots and fans’ organisations.

The blockbuster TV deal, fuelled by the emergence of BT as a rival to BSkyB for domestic live rights and the continued growth of overseas income, has reignited a fierce debate across football and Westminster about how the cash should be shared and how far the Premier League’s responsibilities to the wider game should go. Some MPs have called for a minimum of 7.5% of the total income to be distributed to the grassroots, while others have called for a new funding formula that disaggregates the distribution of cash from the three-year cycle of TV deals to provide greater certainty.

There is another discussion to be had out of all this, and that’s the prospect that the TV rights juggernaut may not simply continue on as is forever. When that drop occurs, those smaller groups that rely on the good graces of the top flight are almost certain to take the most damage first.

Sports on TV is more coveted than ever with instant streaming TV and PVRs and downloadable episodes on iTunes etc., football matches happen at an appointed time and place. You have to watch them live by their very nature. This makes them very attractive to TV networks in search of a dwindling younger audience desired by traditional advertisers.

However this does not make TV immune to the growth and improvement of high speed internet cables, which continue to make the prospect of watching games via the Internet more and more palatable. And as the price of TV sports packages increases, more people will turn to alternate sources—including more affordable online subscriptions—to consume football.

Those margins are smaller than those offered by TV, but that TV audience is certain to shrink over time. Moreover, the growth of Instant TV will cause overall TV audiences to drop in the next several decades. That includes those who might have purchased a PL TV rights package had they kept their cable subscription.

I’m just saying, if I’m an investor playing the long game, football on TV seems like a great short term buy. But those hoping to reap the rewards for years to come should take pause.


Yaya Toure’s agent sends ultimatum to City, player ready to leave if new deal not secured by Saturday.

Steven Taylor still in disbelief over call up to England squad.

The League Managers’ Association embarrassed over high number of sackings, ‘the volatility is undermining the profession’.

Championship clubs warn Premier League over unfair TV deal.


Allegri’s future at Milan uncertain, remains in hotseat.

Boateng speaks in court about racial abuse.

La Liga

Mourinho claims there were voting irregularities in FIFA World Coach of the Year award.

Casillas back in training after hand injury.


Eintracht Frankfurt goalkeeper Kevin Trapp breaks hand, out for the rest of the season.

A look at German football in the 1980s.

Bit and Bobs

Nene punches player in the head, brawl ensues.

Referee awards a ghost goal.

Thanks to Alima Hotakie for compiling today’s links.