Search

All Guns Blazing: Television is leaving Arsenal fans in the lurch

PUBLISHED: 11:48 04 March 2015 | UPDATED: 12:03 04 March 2015

Arsenal and Middlesborough players shake hands whilst being filmed by a Television camera

Arsenal and Middlesborough players shake hands whilst being filmed by a Television camera

EMPICS Sport

In our weekly Arsenal fan’s column, Layth Yousif laments television’s impact on football and looks at upcoming clashes with Manchester United and Monaco.

I wrote before Brighton of the inconvenience of television bosses moving fixtures to suit schedulers rather than fans.

So it wasn’t a complete shock, when we were drawn away to Manchester United at Old Trafford, to realise our game would be moved from Saturday.

But Monday night?

There’s a strategy behind it, relating to viewing figures in important overseas markets – which in itself is instructive. Why? Because it means even domestic television viewers are becoming secondary to non-UK based watchers and advertisers.

No-one’s pining for the days when going to a match was dangerous and uncomfortable. And broadcasters – especially one – have raised the bar in terms of insightful coverage.

But television money is simply staggering these days. I recall as a kid when league football was missing from our screens for part of the 1985/86 season because BBC and ITV were reluctant to pay rights of £10million a year.

With the next deal a single league game will cost Sky and BT £10m.

How much money do clubs need? And how much will fans put up with?

There has to be a point where clubs don’t just freeze ticket prices but lower them. And there has to be a point when television executives must decide what’s important – the atmosphere that full stadiums can provide, or money from advertisers played out to half-empty backdrops with few away fans?

Yet those questions are forgotten as 8,600 Gooners travel to Old Trafford on Monday for arguably our most important game of the season. I don’t need to remind you why our FA Cup quarter-final tie is now so important.

I can handle losing to Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona and Bayern Munich, and Jupp Heynckes’ team before him – who incidentally put on the best away performance I’ve seen at Ashburton Grove – but Monaco?

I thought their centre-half was superb but generally they were solid and unspectacular – the type of European team we would have brushed aside at Highbury.

I’ve a ticket for the second leg, as have many travelling fans. We may still produce a brilliant result – but ultimately it’ll be the usual second leg heroic failure.

I wonder if the game will be shown on terrestrial television? I doubt it. After all, TV companies aren’t daft. Are they?

Follow me @laythy29

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Islington Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Islington Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Islington Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Islington Sports News

49 minutes ago

Royal London One-Day Cup defeat for Lord’s outfit

Tottenham Hotspur won the last ever North London derby to be played at the current White Hart Lane 2-0 after eclipsing bitter rivals Arsenal.

07:02

London Colney is paradox. Too distant to be a North London suburb. Its location – a short traffic jam from the thundering M25 – makes it too busy to be genuinely quiet. Yet it is situated in the heart of the placid Hertfordshire countryside.

Fri, 12:38

Women will meet at Lee Valley on June 10

Fri, 12:00

Time for another Friday fanzone Q&A. Today we have the wonderful David Faber – aka Goonerholic – who’s followed the club for more than six decades. Read what The Arsenal means to him.

Thu, 17:00

Nicoll targets top spot in Premier League

Wed, 23:27

A bullish Arsene Wenger was delighted with his team’s late victory after an 85th minute Robert Huth own goal clinched three points for Arsenal at the Emirates tonight.

Arsenal continued their good week with a second victory in four days with a late 1-0 win over Leicester City after a late Robert Huth own goal.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read sport

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now