Search

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

11:48 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

Friday, August 26, 2016
Middlesex bowler Tim Murtagh

With just a month of the season remaining, Middlesex appear better-placed to become county champions than at any time since their last title 23 years ago.

Friday, August 26, 2016
Watford midfielder Etienne Capoue

The match stats team at bettingexpert pored over the recent history of league contests between Arsenal and Watford – who meet at Vicarage Road on Saturday – and discovered that, while the Gunners secured a 3-0 win in the corresponding fixture last term, all of their goals came in the second half.

Thursday, August 25, 2016
Times ABC's Jules Philips. Pic: Dieter Perry

Islington super-bantamweight Jules Phillips is getting ready to go to war – four months after leaving the Army behind.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

London Blitz chairman Henry Charlton-Weedy is determined to make amends for last year’s BritBowl defeat to London Warriors when the teams clash again in the end-of-season showpiece.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016
Arsenal promo

Here’s your chance to see the likes of Thierry Henry, Robert Pires and Freddie Ljungberg pull on the Arsenal shirt just one more time.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Sandun Dias hit 85 for Highgate. Pic: Max Flego

Highgate hauled themselves out of the drop zone again as the weather helped them to secure a narrow victory at Enfield in Division Two of the Middlesex County League.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Jordan Gregory bowls for North London. Pic: Max Flego

North London skipper Sam Bardon is optimistic that victories in the two remaining games will give his side a good chance of promotion from Middlesex County League Division Three.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Liam O'Driscoll was the pick of North Middlesex's bowlers with three wickets, and he then hit 53 off 58 balls with the bat. Pic: Max Flego

North Middlesex extended their remarkable winning run to eight matches but remain second with just two games left in the title race after leaders Teddington also came out on top.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read sport

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

You could win £15,000 to spend on either their mortgage or a deposit towards the home of their dreams

Wouldn’t it be lovely to have a period of time when you simply don’t have to worry about finding the money each month to pay your mortgage? When you don’t have to put money aside from your monthly income, or worry about having to afford other essential outgoings?

Which book character do you share cleaning habits with?

Whether you have more in common with put-upon Cinderella, emotionally turbulent Jane Eyre, or easily distracted Mole, you’re sure to appreciate that one lucky winner will receive four sessions of free cleaning. Enter our quiz for your chance to win. All runners up will get £10 off their first clean when making a repeat booking.

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