Writer: Red Army Comrade
Date:Saturday July 10 2010
Rupert isn`t that bad
t seems to me that over the past decade there has been a dislike for people called Rupert, our beloved Southampton was under the chairmanship of a duck shooting twit who went by the name of Rupert, but now there is another Rupert who has made enemies, not just with Saint`s fans but with fans of many clubs.
Step forward Rupert Murdoch, the figure behind the news corporation and innovator of SKY Television and its associated football coverage.
But contrary to the belief that everyone called Rupert lives in a castle whilst shooting ducks, is criticism towards Rupert Murdoch justified?
I don`t think so.
SKY television have been criticised widely over they`re premier league coverage, the fact that the top 3 and Liverpool get all the media spotlight whilst grass roots continues to suffer.
And persuading us to pay £16 a month to watch Super Sunday, which involves some Brazilians, Italians, and the odd English player kick a ball around and cry a lot. And what`s exciting about Liverpool anyway?
Forcing us to watch the top 4 flatter to deceive week in week out is perhaps a crime, but there must be a reason why?
Maybe because that`s what we, the customers want. Us Saint`s fans certainly don`t and I`m sure lots of people don`t, but there are a lot of people who do.
I have heard people ask why they host these Super Sunday extravaganzas on Sky sports, and remark about how no one wants to watch the top 4, but in actual fact the top 4 are the most highly watched in the country, in the world even.
Manchester United may be an annoying bunch of corporate sellouts, but in China, the USA, and all over the UK there are people who 'support` Man Utd, I bracketed the term 'support` because its very much a loose term for these people, glory hunters would be more fitting.
But these glory hunters, the ones who love a club they have no affiliation with just because 'they`re awesome` are willing to buy Sky and watch 90 minutes of that thing they call 'football`, and when you have 50 million+ people worldwide all happy to pay for that product?
Well, what sort of madman would ignore those unfortunate facts?
If you can guarantee 50 million viewers for a certain match, the cost for others to advertise on your channels is going to be far more than 1 million watching Shrewsbury against Grimsby. This is the point that seems to be forgotten.
Shrewsbury and Grimsby fans would watch it, some neutrals would watch it and it would be great for the lower leagues to have representation, but to then ask the Murdoch administration to put a match on the air that would be broadcast all over the planet? It would be a poor advert for SKY.
Surely it isn`t about image and big names? Surely it`s about true football where determination is the deciding factor? Unfortunately we live in a world where people want to see the worlds best go against each other week in week out, and Rickie Lambert however good he may be will never have the same appeal as Wayne Rooney to the glory hunting crowd.
Even our televised match against Plymouth, were hardly representatives of league 1, we have a Premiership class stadium with lots of cash and not having sponsors, something reminiscent of Barcelona.
Considering the Spanish and Italian third tiers are equal to our conference league in terms of size and stature, to advertise a Premiership stadium with a Premiership fan base as a third tier team, and broadcast that to America and China who know nothing about our last 5 years of history, what do you think the assumptions will be from that?
People in China and the US will look at us as a template of what every third tier team looks like, painting a picture that every club in every division has a large stadium and fan base, this isn`t the case at all but these people won`t know that.
However immoral that may be, its fantastic business to accentuate the positives and hide the negatives, they are painting a picture that glory hunters all over the world will buy into.
o take that information and call the Murdoch`s bad people would be absurd, why are they bad people? For supplying what the majority of people want? They can`t please everyone but go with they`re biggest fan base, that isn`t criminal… that`s just good business sense.
Perhaps we are a bad club? Raiding and pillaging smaller clubs top talents as well as clawing a fan base away from Eastleigh and Salisbury? I`m sure if we weren`t around Eastleigh and Salisbury would have much stronger fan bases, but were not wrong for that… after all its just business.
We do what we have to do, as do the Murdoch`s, as does any forward thinking entrepreneur.
In an Ideal world then smaller clubs would get equal shares of TV money and coverage, and things would be 'fair`, but to blame SKY for taking a decision based on what millions of people do actually want is short sighted, the numbers speak for themselves.
We would be more than happy to see lower league football on the box, but something tells me that Americans and Chelsea fans wouldn`t be too pleased to see they`re favourite side being replaced by Dagenham and Redbridge on sky sports 1.
SKY aren`t to blame, the glory hunters and 'brand builders` are to blame… people like the Glazers who franchise all over the globe and turn our game into one big advert where image means everything. Unfortunately terraces and true football isn`t part of the modern vision of the modern game.
Date:Saturday July 10 2010
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