José Mourinho is right, Chelsea should be treated better.

There, I’ve said it.  I feel sick now, I shouldn’t have been forced to say such disgusting things.  But I blame the wonks at the Premier League, Sky and BT Sport.

The reason?  The Odious One was complaining about TV scheduling of this weekend’s big match against the scousers, which sees the Chavs having to play a massive league match on Sunday afternoon, ahead of the second leg of the CL semi final on Wednesday against Atlético Madrid.  Or as he put it:

“The fact that the match is on Sunday, I think that puts the problem not in my hands but in the hands of those who decide the game should be Sunday, not Saturday or Friday. We represent English football and are the only [English] team in European competition.

“Spain have four and give them all the conditions to try to have success. So I know what I would do. I would play the players who are not going to play on Wednesday. My priority is the Champions League. But I’m not the club. I have to speak to them.”

 And then he made the stunning suggestion that he might field a weak side against Liverpool in order to preserve legs for the Atlético match.  The match against Liverpool is anything but a dead rubber, with three sides genuinely still able to win the title.  Sky will have scheduled this match on the basis that it would be one of the games of the season, a battle of two of the giants at the top of the table.  So, the thought that Mourinho might sabotage the match, and potentially the run-in for the title, will have upset the TV bigwigs.  Of course, it would also cause blood pressure to rise at Man City and the PL headquarters, with the culmination of the season, and the whole sporting contest, potentially tainted.

 But Mourinho is right.  Why the hell are the TV companies able to screw up clubs’ preparations for massive midweek European games by their scheduling choices at the weekend?  The fact that competitors in other countries get sympathetic scheduling only underlines how obnoxious the situation is in England.

 Of course, everyone involved in English football is complicit – the extravagant wages Mourinho receives and is able to offer to players comes in large part from the TV subscriptions we shell out.  As fans, we also enjoy the benefits, with the best players in the world considering our league as a place to play.  The PL revolution, that propelled English football to the elite level of the world game, is the creation of Sky.  So why shouldn’t they (or BT Sport) get to choose when such a big match is to be played?

 As Arsenal fans, we know why.  How many times have we lost out when crappy scheduling has seen us play at noon on a Saturday after an away game many miles away?  Or on Sunday before a CL game?  It has definitely affected our games, which is unacceptable, so it’s only right that Mourinho should complain when his team are affected too.

TV companies are entitled to make scheduling choices, that’s the deal, but there are limits and when it affects the sporting contest itself, it’s gone too far.  I hope Mourinho follows through on his threat this Sunday, perhaps the TV companies would realise they need to change their ways.

Written by 26may

103 Responses to José Mourinho is right, Chelsea should be treated better.

  1. mitch says:

    Swings and Roundabouts!!

  2. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Wow 26, what a fair minded and even handed fellow you are, as I doubt there’s anyone who dislikes Chelsea more than you, and that runs much deeper than just the money.

    However, I do agree that it would certainly “learn” Sky if Maureen did field a weakened team, upset City, and go a long way to handing over the title to Liverpool, but as you say, it’s tricky for us to have our cake and eat it in terms of having such a great league and having to sleep with the devil to get it.

    For me, I reckon he will field his strongest XI, and that can include the likes of Mikel and Fatso who are suspended for the Athletico game.

    So that leaves me to decide on who I’d like upset more, Sky or Chelsea. Phew, that’s a tough one.

  3. stevepalmer1 says:

    Very Good Post 26
    And i have to say that you are right, and it does seem very unfair.

    But i would also like to say that should Chelsea follow through their threat, and field a weakened side, is that the FA would hit them hard with points deducted and a very heavy fine.

    Champions league is a very prestigious competition but it is a competition run by EUFA, Nothing to do with the FA, so any fiddling with weakened sides that may favour some over others, should hit the club involved with penalties.

    First second third and fourth place finishes, are rewarded with different payouts, and punishment should take that into consideration. Out of the top 4 would also bring repercussions and that would make even the adamant take notice

  4. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Crikey, nasty thought (I say “nasty” because I will be out of my depth), but does this post lead to a wider debate ie is there a way around the power (money) that Sky wield?

    I really don’t know about these things, but I’m guessing the PL benefits more from broadcasting money than other European Leagues, and if that’s the case, how do others like Spain manage?

    Does a solution lie in individual clubs selling their own TV rights, and how does this effect the distribution of cash, and I’m guessing it would benefit only the bigger clubs, but perhaps that’s the way it is with Sky money anyway.

    As I said, I’m really out of my depth on this one.

  5. Norfolk Gooner says:

    ‘morning all,

    Thank you 26 for a fine post.

    He who pays the piper calls the tune!!!

    Clubs want the TV money, they couldn’t exist without it, the Premier League represent the clubs, they signed up to the deal. If the Premier League were mug enough or greedy enough to hand scheduling to the TV companies, the clubs will have to live with it and stop moaning.

    If Moaniho fields a substantially weakened team against Liverpool the FA and Premier League should punish Chelsea by a points deduction sufficient to ensure that they do not qualify for next seasons Champions League tournament.

  6. Hi 26may
    Excellent post/can of worms.

    [your final para] “…but there are limits and…”
    Theoretically, yes, buy actually, no – there doesn’t appear to be limits.

    [your final para] “…Mourinho follows through on his threat…TV companies would realise they need to change their ways.”
    Do you mean his threat to field a ‘weakened’ team?
    (a) a “weakened” Chelsea team is still a good team.
    (b) viewers will still tune in.


    Hi stevepalmer1
    “…should Chelsea follow through their threat, and field a weakened side, is that the FA would hit them hard with points deducted and a very heavy fine.”

    Those days are over… what constitutes a weakened side anyway? We have been living in a football world of not teams, but squads, for quite some time.

    I sympathise with Mourinho but only to a certain degree. He’s spent a lot of money not only on a good team, but a good overall squad – therefore I find it difficult to feel totally sorry for him.
    What’s the point of a having a ‘big’ squad, and in Chelsea’s case a ‘quality’ squad, if you’re going to moan about fixture congestion, that comes with success, btw.

  7. stevepalmer1 says:

    Big Al. who am i to say your wrong mate, But when Managers moan, and i feel that’s how he has reacted, is like saying i don’t care what anybody thinks, but he also said that he is not the club, and he would need permission. That’s when i feel he doesn’t care about the Premier position, because he feels his team are through anyway
    . Now that’s when i think he is wrong, as i do his player loan idea that his players can hurt other teams, when not playing for his owning club.

    There’s a lot of ways to cheat, but its still unethical.

  8. RA says:

    What a super, super Post, 26. I love it! 🙂

    I hope you and Rocky, the Media Molehill Man, take it as a compliment, but in your slightly differing ways you are both truly the bookends of AA Post writers for the clarity, lucidity and enjoyability of your writing styles.

  9. Onas says:

    Put urselves in that situation before you start making unecessary comment,panelties my foot.

  10. Hi Stevepalmer1
    Question – why are you “1” by the way?.
    Is there a “2”?
    Or more?

    What I find humorous is that Mourinho would have been well aware (without a shadow of a doubt) that the Liverpool game would possibly (or probably) be scheduled for Sunday, yet still goes on a moaning mission.

    And as for the so-called “weakened” team argument, let’s put it this way – if Arsenal replaced Ozil with Cazorla would our club face a fine for fielding a “weakened” team?
    Now look at Chelsea’s team/squad and deduce…

    I repeat… today’s game is a squad game (involving rotation). The FA simply couldn’t fine Chelsea for replacing player X with player Y, when they’re both quality players. And at Chelsea they would be just that.

  11. MickyDidIt89 says:


    On behalf of all other authors on AA, may I say “bookends my arse”.

    If you ever call me a bookend, I’ll send you something smelly in the post. Second class 🙂

  12. MickyDidIt89 says:


    I’ve just spent an hour in a very important meeting, so have had plenty of time to think about 26’s post. My conclusion is that he is right that someone ought to do more to help English Clubs in Europe, and the fixture should be moved.

    However, in Chelsea’s case, to Monday 🙂

  13. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Right, I’m going for a swim.

  14. RA says:


    The Post has many facets that I could wax eloquent about and write a post sized response in return – or maybe not so eloquent in truth, but I am going to show restraint and start off only on one area not really mentioned in your Post.

    I am not much given to disliking people I only know through their public utterances, as what is the point. But in Moanhio’s case I can make an exception.

    His past form gives rise to questions about his motives in bringing this rather petulant tit for tat response to an issue that has affected all the Premiership clubs in the past, without any of them threatening to field a weakened team.

    So what is his driver in spouting off now?

    My first thought is that this threat is his response to the referees cabal ‘deciding’ to stop Chelsea winning the league this season, by awarding a penalty against them last week.
    It is a petulant and childish response along the lines, ‘you (collectively) have hurt me by making me lose that game, and ruining my chance to win the EPL, (have you noticed how often he talks in the first person as if it is him who actually plays and wins games and championships?) — so, I will spoil the climax to the season by taking the ball home (fielding a weakened team) and I will decide who wins the League. [It screams Me, Me, Me].

    A corollary to that threat is that if Chelsea lose to ‘Pool, it will be ‘oh well, nothing to do with me, serves you right for upsetting me’, whereas if they win, it will be, ‘I am a genius, and I cannot help winning, even when I have a weak team out’.

    N.B. Chelsea have spent hundreds of millions of pounds assembling their squad, and a ‘weakened’ Chelsea team is very subjective.

    The man is as tricky as a stinky weasel!

    [There are loads of other points to be made on the subject of your Post, but I will sit quietly and only write after I put my hand up to ask permission!] 🙂

  15. stevepalmer1 says:

    Onas,, I have many times, Wenger has left it till after a game to complain to a referee, out of sight of the tv camers’s but he has still ended up in the stands because he Questioned a refs decision, I have never seen another Manager spend so much time in the stands.

    Mourinho, sarcastically criticised a ref’s handling of a game, i expect the same kind of penalties.

    Sports today are run by a set of rules and if you breach those rules you will be punished..

    If Mourinho does field a weakened side and is not punished then i assume its within the rules..

  16. RA says:


    I would like to immediately assuage your concerns about being called a bookend for writing with clarity, lucidity and enjoyability, and I can assure you that no such comment will be made from my keyboard! 🙂

  17. stevepalmer1 says:

    Big Ai, I was my mums No1 🙂

    As you say Big Al if Wenger were to do that, he would not broadcast it, he would explain why he had changed,. If asked.

    Mourinho has made a statement about why he is doing what he intends to do, in protest other scheduling, completely different scenario.

  18. stevepalmer1 says:

    Sorry (over)

  19. Rasp says:

    Very interesting post 26m – and brilliantly argued if I may say.

    The first half had me convinced that Maureen was right and the second half persuaded me that its our own fault for taking the TV companies’ money.

    Arsenal have suffered this scheduling madness several times and AW has commented – but it takes the ‘specious one’ to draw the headlines.

    I think the FA need to write something into the contracts next time they are negotiated to try to help our CL sides in the latter stages of the competition. Surely this could be achieved without a significant loss of revenue.

  20. Hi motherpalmer’s1 @ 12.50pm

    Your 1st para: true enough, though my point was actually questioning whether there’s enough difference between Ozil and Cazorla, quality-wise that is, to regard that particular personel change as “weakened” – they are both quality squad players. And my point therefore obviously relates also to any squad personel changes that Chelsea may make vs Liverpool. Chelsea’s entire squad is quality!

    As regards your 2nd para, I agree with you… his ‘statement of (possible) intent’ smacks of petulance, as Red Arse also notes @ 12.37pm.

  21. stevepalmer1 says:

    Big Al, Your not daft, a change of a couple of players happen in every game played, but managers do not have to explain, We normally think that certain players have had a knock in training, And i agree many players are very similar.

    Even so a Manager has still got what he considers his first eleven, and when he states that he is not playing any of them, the public understand that his team pick will be weakened, Had he used his loaf and said nothing, and if he was asked said that they were injured i would have understood how he felt and could understand it . But the arrogance of the man has to show why, and it is like a protest, and that shows he has overstepped the mark.

  22. RC78 says:

    Chelsea has faltered in the last few weeks and Mou is basically dreading a second consecutive trophy-less season…He has to win the Champions League or else he will have to face some heavy criticism from the Roman, Chelsea’s board and Chelsea’s fans…

    He will, of course, argue that he is building a new team with young players that need to gel but he, himself, despises this excuse so I am not sure Roman will be very pleased with this discourse…If Chelsea does not win the CL, we could be in for a dramatic turn of events at Chelsea with Roman looking to drop the axe on Mou’s head, once again…

  23. stevepalmer1 says:

    RC78, Good comment,

    There’s one Boss at Chelsea and that’s the owner. What he say’s goes. As far as Mourinho is concerned he has seen the owners wrath once before and got his marching orders, so nothing has been decided until he says yay or nay.

    Abramovitch has shown what he expects from his Managers and Players, a steady stream of Managers and players have come and gone. Many have been successful and won trophies, but that means very little to a man who has impossible visions.

    Mourinho will toe the line, and what happens over the weekend will be what the owner wants.

    Its really up to Mourinho does he like his well paid job or has he packed his suitcase in readiness.

  24. jnyc says:

    Great, fair minded post 26. I think it’s not just down to money, but more stupidity from the FA. I say this because I’m sure there’s a way to schedule around the Champions League fixtures without the tv companies losing viewership. It only takes allot of creativity. The teams involved and the dates are known far in advance.

    They don’t listen to Wenger, maybe Mouhrinho will shame them more.

  25. GunnerN5 says:

    Now that,s and interesting post 26m, thank you.

    Personally I’m not one to be overly critical of managers, especially when English is a second language to many and even some British managers can barely speak English – (they speak only fooballese)

    Football managers have one of the most difficult jobs in sport and are constantly under the scrutiny of fans, owners, media and even their own players, who often become turncoats and squawk on them. Sure they say some dumb things but when you they are under the spotlight, like Moyes, after a loss and their emotions are raw – who can expect them to be 100% lucid?

    One potential solution to the CL situation would be to create a Friday night game for the key PL game of the week – this will guarantee a minimum of 3 days between games and possibly as many as 4 days.

  26. RC78 says:

    As for the programming, you have to feel for all English teams but if the FA would actually protect the interests of the clubs, it would really make sure to programme the games so as to allow the best possible preparation for Brit teams in European competitions. In Germany, France, Spain and Italy – they change the schedules accordingly ; so why not in England?

  27. GunnerN5 says:

    On another note I think that Chelsea played the perfect away game, we would have been singing the praises of AW if he had managed that result.

    They had no need to play suicidal football, after all its a competition based on results not entertainment.

  28. Sav from Australia says:

    Interesting post.

    I am not sure I am qualified enough or knowledgeable to say anything with too much determination. I recall Arsenal playing in Europe and then having early Saturday kick-offs. So, in that sense, Moanrinho is being his usual nonsense self.

    I think…playing on Sunday should be enough rest. At least he’s not the Arsenal and has to play early Saturday morning.

    Incidentally, I am conflicted. If Liverpool win, how does that affect Arsenal? Do we get more stick from the media or less? As opposed to Man City winning? Nobody wants Chelsea to win…ewwww.

  29. Sav from Australia says:

    @RC78 says:
    April 24, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    That last bit with the axe on the Moaner… mental image…hehe…:)

  30. kelsey says:

    This is an interesting post 26th and I don’t think there is any one solution that would suit every club,naturally the top club attract a world wide audience.

    When Sky rescheduled the run in to the season which was way back in January they advertised that they would be showing live our last 4 or 5 games.

    With regards to Mourinho fielding a weakened side (which I personally don’t believe).What happens if they win 🙂

  31. stevepalmer1 says:

    I think its fair to say that TV has taken over football as we know it, Games are now shown nearly every day of the week. Its true to say the TV money has helped football no end, but it also has thrown spanners in the works as well.

    When league games were only shown on a Saturday, everybody was aware who was leading the league at any given time, Weekdays were games where matches were postponed for bad weather.

    Now a days, no one is ever sure who has games in hand and who is actually leading. How this makes a difference is how pressure is put on many teams as they have to play catchup.

    I find this abnormal pressure, and if we can program schedules for weeks in advance it can also benefit certain teams. Now i don’t think that is fair, but clubs like the money generated by TV and toe the line.

    We know that the top team clashes, are the most popular, so we realise that TV will capitalise on those games, but when successful clubs matches build up by other competitions, we see how they confuse the issue.

    Sky sports have many channels, and i wouldn’t think it would be much of a problem to open new ones BT similar so why cant they have a Saturday for league games and midweek for CL and cup games.

    Premier league should be the most important games as it is the results of this league that qualifies for Champions League and that is only fair for all if they all kick off at the same time on the same day with weather permitting..

    TV company money is hugely needed for the sport to thrive but so is supporter money as well, and for a person at work all week its a bit of a struggle to force yourself out after a hard day.

    Many of us spend out for sky sports tv but we don’t watch it 24.7 so if you paid only for the games you watch we could all benefit.

    Saturday and Wednesday would be quite adequate and the wives and girlfriend and husbands and boyfriends will know precisely who’s still in and who is leading. The TV may even earn more money. lots of sport stations and lots of choice and the supporter could plan his or her Saturdays every week.

    Would it work, no i doubt it.:).

  32. kelsey says:

    Is it fair that FA Cup matches are now spread over three days and the draw for the next round is made before the previous round have even played.

  33. kelsey says:

    sorry, I mean all the previous round matches have been played.

  34. Hi jnyc
    @2.12pm… “I say this because I’m sure there’s a way to schedule around the Champions League fixtures without the tv companies losing viewership.”

    OK. You’re sure there’s a way…
    So what exactly is the way you’re sure about?
    Don’t keep us in the dark; enlighten us.


    Hi GunnerN5
    @2.23pm you say “One potential solution to the CL situation would be to create a Friday night game for the key PL game of the week…”

    Sorry mate, but that’s plain daft!
    Unless you’re implying a midnight kickoff, of course. Now there’s an idea! 🙂
    What about Arsenal fans who live as far away from London as Oxford or Banbury (in my own particular case until 13 years ago), and can’t get to the Friday games. Not all Gooners live in London.

    But just as important (if not more so) what about the away fans…

  35. kelsey says:

    Big Al

    as I said there is no perfect solution but as far as the UK is concerned the TV companies seem to control everything and another example are the quarter final matches in the CL

    Why are they staggered,4 games one week and 4 the following week.

    Which ever way you look at it it can be an advantage or disadvantage to any particular team.

    International friendlies also disrupt a team tremendously.
    If any of the european players be it for us or whoever fly out to South America midweek and often they don’t even play,that puts a fatigue and timedistance element in the players performance if he is expected to turn out two days later for his club.
    The whole friendly fixture list should be examined more carefully. The managers generally can’t stand them.

  36. GunnerN5 says:

    Big Al, what on earth do you mean, there are already mid week games with a 7:45 pm kick off (CL) so what’s different about a Friday night?

  37. Hi Kelsey

    You ask “Why are they staggered,4 games one week and 4 the following week.”

    Kelsey, that’s eight games. If you’re referring to the Quarter Finals, then actually it’s 4 games total, not 8. Yes, there’s a game on Tuesday, and a game on Wednesday. Then the same the following week.
    Which means? You and I can watch all 4 Quarter Final games.
    I’m very happy with that; it’s a fabulous competition. You seem to have a problem with the arrangement – why?

    As regards International friendlies, I agree.


    Gunner N5

    You say “there are already mid week games with a 7:45 pm kick off (CL) so what’s different about a Friday night?

    The difference is clear. The midweek games you refer to are “CL” (Champions League), not Premier League.
    CL has never been other than midweek, has it. Or to put it another way, CL has never been on a Saturday or Sunday.

    Midweek (Premiership) games are relatively few and far between. The vast majority are Saturday, and Sunday.

    Also, on this issue, I’m not for Monday night football either. It may be fine for TV viewers (such as you and I), but a lousy arrangement for those who love to go the games, and many of the TV viewers would actually be at the Monday (or midweek) games if not for the obvious inconvenience (or absolute impossibility) of getting there before kickoff… hence my joke as regards the midnight kickoff.

    Bearing in mind my feelings re Monday football, it stands to reason I would be not in favour of Friday games either.

    As a fan who used to attend many, many games (both home and away), it’s particularly from that standpoint that guide my views on this matter.

  38. Norfolk Gooner says:

    stevepalmer1, quote “Sports today are run by a set of rules and if you breach those rules you will be punished” Who are you trying to kid?

    Barcelona were given a two window transfer ban for irregularities in signing underage, overseas players. Three weeks later the ban has been suspended. Where’s the punishment in that?

    By stating that he will field a weakened side Moanhio has, in my opinion, brought the game into disrepute. Will he be punished? Don’t hold your breath.

  39. GunnerN5 says:

    Big Al, All you are doing is stating the obvious. There is nothing fundamentally wrong with evening kick offs starting anytime between 5:00pm and 8:00pm. Afternoon games are also a valid option.

  40. kelsey says:

    Big Al

    Home and Away is 8 games 🙂

  41. stevepalmer1 says:

    Evening Norfolk Gooner,
    I was referring to the English league, but you are quite right, if rules are in place then they should be adhered to..If this is the case with Barcelona then it opens a can of worms for every other team in their league.

    I don’t enforce the rules, but as soon as the authorities don’t act it opens the door..

    I hold my breath in anticipation

  42. Norfolk Gooner says:

    As far as the TV companies are concerned the fans who turn up for the game are just part of the background, supplying a bit of atmosphere. They couldn’t care less how much trouble they have getting to the ground or home afterwards. They are not the TV companies customers.

    I’m an armchair football follower, I have Sky, I have BT Broadband so I get BT Sport free as part of the package, I can watch a vast variety of football every weekend and most week nights, far too much in fact as I couldn’t possibly watch all the games even if I wanted to and if I did, I would soon be divorced. 😀

    As I said earlier, 11.25, the clubs want the money that TV companies pay, they signed up to the deal, they’ll have to live with it.

  43. Norfolk Gooner says:

    GN5, are you saying that afternoon kick-offs in midweek games is an option?

  44. GunnerN5 says:

    Big Al,

    On another note this season Arsenal will have played 29% of their games during the week.
    3 on Mondays
    4 on Tuesdays
    3 on Wednesdays
    I on Thursday

    What is so sacred about Fridays?

  45. RA says:

    Tend to agree, Norfolk.

    No point taking the cash and then whinging about it. But Maureen should not be taken seriously. He is a tart.

  46. GunnerN5 says:


    As you can see from my last comment not just an option but already a reality.

  47. Norfolk Gooner says:

    GN5, I’m not sure I can recall any midweek game kicking off in the afternoon, at least not since the time of the three day week.

  48. RA says:


    You would survive longer if you did not hold your breath in anticipation.

    Barca are using the appeal to FIFA, and the subsequent suspension to delay proceedings and as their appeal will take months to be heard they can get cracking on stocking up on players this summer, even if it means putting them out on loan for a year, or two.

    I think the charge relates to the Neymar deal where they have already had to pay approx £18m to the Spanish taxman, and also how they contract young overseas players and then let them go.

  49. GunnerN5 says:


    You may be right as I also cannot remember ant mid week afternoon kick offs – but some on a Sunday.

  50. Norfolk Gooner says:

    GN5, Sunday lunchtime 1.30 and teatime 4.30 are regular starting times in the premiership and have been since the inception of the league, similarly Saturday lunctime 1.30 and early evening 5.30.

    These have become widely accepted, but I can’t see amy chance that midweek games will kick off any earlier than the present 7.45.

  51. RA says:

    Hi GN5,

    Last Sunday there were 3 EPL games kicking off one after the other.

    That was obviously done for the TV companies to maximise their income and also to let excited fans all around the world to see the teams fight it out, me included at times.:-)

  52. RA says:

    Sorry, GN5,

    I meant to add above, that Friday night games were tried (not too sure which leagues were involved) and were classed as a disaster for the TV companies and the fans.

    all the fans were out on the razz on Friday nights and did not want to sit in front of the TV, so the audiences for TV were poor — and I believe that was why Monday Night football was introduced.

  53. GunnerN5 says:


    I must say that I always enjoyed football when every game kicked off at 3:00pm on Saturday. Sitting around the radio at 5:45pm was always a big moment in our family. especially with my Dad who would frantically write down all the scores so that he could check his Littlewood pools selections.

    But then again most things have changed since those days – and unfortunately not all for the better.

  54. stevepalmer1 says:

    Thank you for clarifying RA, have taken a breath now 🙂

    I would have felt that all dealings would have been suspended until the appeal has been confirmed, but we know the Spanish probably wouldn’t do that

  55. GunnerN5 says:

    Ra, I meant to say around the radio at 4:45pm.

  56. RA says:

    Afore I go.

    There have been some interesting points made today re TV companies, the clubs etc etc, and some good suggestions how to solve the ‘problem’ raised by the prat Moaningho.

    Let’s be realistic, Maureen does not really have a case.

    The club owners were not bullied into anything.
    They were offered the money and agreed to take it and as part of the deal they agreed to the TV companies rescheduling their games as part of the deal.

    That’s the end of it really.

    Fairness? What has that got to do with it?
    The clubs contracted to sell their product to a willing buyer, at an agreed (and huge) price, to a willing buyer.

    When everyone stops and thinks it through, out of 20 Premiership clubs only 4 are affected by the CL dates each season. The other 16 should not have to change all their playing dates to suit the lucky 4 – should they?

    There are a number of competitions played every season, the EPL, the Carling Cup (or whatever), the FA Cup, the CL, the Europa League, the International friendlies, the World Cup qualifiers, the European Championships qualifiers, so with a limited number of weeks available, and a great number of teams involved in the European teams from 40 (?) countries each season, it is no surprise trying to produce a timetable to satisfy all the parties involved is extraordinary difficult.

    The Premiership clubs took billions from the TV companies which has generated hundreds of millions of Pounds (sterling) from worldwide sales for the clubs involved, and they should just shut up – Moaniho!

  57. kelsey says:

    Another practical idea (but it most probably wouldn’t be considered) is that as there are 6 London clubs in the pl those 12 matches could always be played at th weekend wherever possible,most probably at 5.30 on Saturdays or any of the three recognised kick off times on Sunday but Sundays could create train travel for many.

    I think we have to face facts that the attending fans are not high up in priority when TV schedule matches generally.

  58. RA says:

    I know what you meant GN5. 🙂

    Kicking of all games at 3 pm on a Saturday afternoon would solve a lot of the problems. But the FA and the Premier League clubs will not allow any live broadcasts as it would affect the fans who would not want to attend the grounds and buy tickets, and that is a big earner for the clubs.

    No games – no TV money – British clubs would not have the SKY/BT money to compete with the rest of Europe.

  59. GunnerN5 says:

    Well in the long run us fans also need the TV companies to be happy as its their money which has elevated the quality of the players and the game that we see in the PL.

    The down side is that the silver cloud could also have a very dark lining. If TV audiences fell and the TV money was reduced many clubs would suffer as they are now dependent on that revenue.

  60. stevepalmer1 says:

    Very true RA but it has kept us chatting all day, 🙂

  61. GunnerN5 says:

    Bacary Sagna believes a fully-fit Abou Diaby is one of the world’s best footballers.

    The France international made his latest comeback on Tuesday night after more than a year on the sidelines with a serious knee injury.

    Diaby’s promising Arsenal career has been halted time and again by fitness issues but, at 27, the midfielder has time on his side.

    “He’s still young, that’s what is amazing because he had so many setbacks and bad news in his life but he’s still fighting, he’s still smiling and that’s what I admire about him,” Sagna told Arsenal Player.

    He always wants to give the maximum, he always stays positive and I think that’s why he’s back today

    “He always wants to give the maximum, he always stays positive and I think that’s why he’s back today.

    “To me he is one of the best in the world [when he is fit]. When he’s at his best he can play as well as Patrick Vieira did and as good as many players did. He can be useful for the team and he can be decisive.

    “To be honest I was shocked the day he got injured [at Swansea last season] because to me he deserves to have a great career. He’s a great player with great skill and ability but he got injured a lot.

    “That’s life and I think he is strong enough to come back to his best and work hard, that’s what he’s done until now and I’m glad to see him back. He played with the reserves and he is training with us so I’m looking forward to him playing with us.”

    (Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source)

  62. RA says:


    Sorry, I do not see that as practical.

    6 London clubs play each other 2 a season = 12 games.

    The premier League teams play 38 * 20 games a season = 760 games.

    The London % is less than 2% of the total.

    Check the math – I am rushing and haven’t got my pants on yet!! 🙂

    Sayonara. 🙂

  63. stevepalmer1 says:

    The only way that will happen N5 is if the wheeler dealing comes to light. Fixed games Bent players and huge bungs will have its effect on gamblers and supporters alike.

  64. Kelsey @ 5.08pm
    Well spotted, mate! 🙂

    However 🙂 I still don’t see why you are (appearing to be) complaining about those Quarter Finals being staggered.
    If they were all shown on the same night(s) I think a heck of a lot of football fans (myself included) would cry “Why can’t the games be staggered so we can see more of ’em!”

    ps – If I’m wrong in thinking you’re not happy about it, I’ll humbly apologise.


    Gunner N5 @ 5.05pm
    “There is nothing fundamentally wrong with evening kick offs starting anytime between 5:00pm and 8:00pm.”

    There’s a lot of people leaving work between 5pm – 6pm in particular. That’s fundamental.
    I know back in your working day bicycles far outnumbered the wretched motor car 🙂 but as you yourself said @ 5.54pm, times have changed.

    “Afternoon games are also a valid option.”
    Not in midweek they’re not. Quite a lot of people (football fans included) work what is known as the “nine-to-five”.

    I agree with Norfolk – I can’t see any chance that midweek games will kick off any earlier than the present 7.45pm.
    The time is set to allow working people to get to the ground, often fighting traffic.

    Enjoy the rest of your evening Gunner N5.
    It’s bedtime for me.

  65. GunnerN5 says:


    Stranger have happened and will again.

    TV is the current source for broadcasting, you may remember when dial up phones with hard wiring were the thing – where are they today? Hence where will TV be in say the next decade?

    I may not be around to see the change but change is inevitable.

  66. GunnerN5 says:

    Good night Big Al, its only 1:37 pm here in Ontario, Canada.

  67. stevepalmer1 says:

    Night N5 hope your wrong and you do live to see it.

  68. chas says:

    Excellently argued, 26.

    This article from the Daily Fascist dated 27th Feb 2014 shows that the April TV fixtures were announced 8 weeks in advance of any potential Champions League games.
    It’s the chavs’ fault for spawning their way to the semis.
    Presumably they could have been drawn in the Real v Bayern semi and had to play Wed and then the following Tuesday which would have been even worse!

    p.s. I wonder what would have happened to our Monday night game versus Newcastle had we had sneaked through against Bayern, as the second leg was still to be played at the time of the April TV fixture announcement.
    (and sneaked through the quarters as well, of course 🙂 ).

  69. chas says:

    Nuff said

  70. stevepalmer1 says:

    Ramsey’s goal against an FA cup finalist was sublime. Shame Arsenal and Hull knocked out all the good teams COYRRG’s

  71. kelsey says:


    my point was that 12 out of the 38 games we play are in London and that represents more than 2% 🙂

  72. stevepalmer1 says:

    Current best team in the world Bayern we beat them twice away, Last year and again this year don’t think they like us

  73. stevepalmer1 says:

    Wenger the longest serving Manager in the premier, 19 years and top 4 all those years.

  74. stevepalmer1 says:

    Long day 26, but a great post and good debate. night all.

  75. LB says:

    Well done 26 for coming up with a post today. The only thing I can offer is that Mourinho is a banned word and deserves every bit of bad luck the comes his way.

    Not, high brow stuff I know but it is the best I could do.

  76. GunnerN5 says:

    One day an Irishman goes into pharmacy – reaches into his pocket and takes out a small Irish whiskey bottle and a teaspoon.
    He pours some whiskey onto the teaspoon and offers it to the chemist.
    “Could you taste this for me, please.?”
    The chemist takes the teaspoon, puts it in his mouth, swills the liquid around and swallows it.
    “Does that taste sweet to you?” says Paddy.
    “No, not at all,” says the chemist.
    ‘Oh that’s a relief,” says Paddy.
    “The doctor told me to come here and get my urine tested for sugar.

  77. arnie says:

    Great stuff, 26may. 🙂 At this stage of the season, conjuring up a post that generates nice discussion without negative thoughts about the current team is absolutely priceless. Like Mastercard, as they say. Well played sir 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Apols, busy times again. 😦

  78. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I haven’t done the maths, but I think we really want a City win away at Palace this weekend to keep them in the title race ahead of their visit t Goodison.

    Final point on yesterdays, which is not entirely relevant, but

    I hate Maurinho. I really do. All this crap about a weakened team is just lining up his excuse cards. I so wnt his team to go through to the CL Final and get hammered by Madrid, the team he failed to win it with. Suddenly, his grubby little CV won’t be looking quite so glossy.

  79. chas says:

    Haha, grubby little man and his grubby little CV.

    When 26 used the phrase
    ‘the whole sporting contest, potentially tainted’,
    it was Jose who sprang to my mind.
    Madrid realised it, even Abramovich realised it and got rid.
    The latter, however couldn’t resist the potential results, tainted or not. Probably a strong clue to the success of his ‘business’ empire.

  80. chas says:

  81. chas says:

  82. chas says:

  83. chas says:

  84. MickyDidIt89 says:


    Just watching that vid of a 6″ single on a turntable is a thing of great beauty

  85. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Just reminds me of the million and one times I must have been off my tits and dumped the stylus straight down onto the round thing missing the record altogther 🙂

  86. chas says:

    There’s your autobiography title right there
    “Off my tits”

    Haha, a million and one times.

    Have you still got some vinyl?

  87. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oh come off it, and you didn’t miss one or two times 🙂

    Yeah, found loads of vinyl going through 18 years of junk.

    Two favourites. Lou Reed Live bootleg produced on heroin white vinyl, and although I never liked them, PIL, the Metal Box, as by far the coolest record packaging.

  88. MickyDidIt89 says:

    And of course, my Bowie bootlegs.

    Best being Live at Hammermith ’74, where he announces last ever Ziggy gig, and then says possibly his last ever concert

  89. chas says:

    Have you got a turntable?

    Definitely worth investing in one which can turn the vinyl recordings into mp3 via your computer.

  90. arnie says:

    motning all. great stuff Chas. motning Micky.

    what a week this has turned out to be! Hope to stay around a bit for the Dandan “in memorium”!!

  91. chas says:

    Sounds like they’re worth a fortune.

  92. chas says:

    It sounds as though most of your weeks are real doozies!

  93. chas says:

    I was just looking up the value of the PIL metal box and saw this story. 🙂

    “A friend used to keep his vinyl collection under a large fish tank.
    Early hours of a Sunday morning, the fish tank heater sparked a fire in the corner of the room, the heat from burning record collection cracked the tank – it smashed, flooded the lounge and put the fire out.

    One item in the record collection survived – Metal Box.

    We heard it quite a bit after.”

  94. arnie says:

    Chas: most weeks I am able to spend more time on AA. 😛

  95. arnie says:

    Chas: both vids this morning are great!!!! 🙂

  96. MickyDidIt89 says:


    i assume all my records are scratched to buggery. i did try and take care of things, but stuff happens 🙂

  97. chas says:

    I know someone who’d buy the PiL box set from you.

  98. chas says:

    Sucker for women and strings ( and ivory)

  99. arnie says:

    Micky: I hope packing amd moving is working well for you. Particularly loved the idea that Mrs Didit packed Micky and children off to camp to get a control on the packing process. 😛 Oh, how I hate moving.

  100. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    26. Fine post , just sorry I wasn’t around to join in a good discussion. I agree with those who say that it is the same for all the PL teams, and should JM make good his threat he should be dismembered.

    Didit. 7.36 I am impressed you have a 6 inch at home – most people have a slightly larger 7″ 😀

    chas. My Sharona – possibly the greatest guitar solo ever produced on a pop single. and an interesting mix on the vid.

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