Saturday, April 28, 2007

The Tevez affair

A lot of Addicks are understandably upset about the Tevez affair. West Ham were not just economical with the actualité in their dealings with the Premiership over the transfers. One of their officials was found to have lied to the Premiership chief executive.

It's interesting to see how this story developed on Friday. When Sky rang me to go on air over the phone at 1.50 p.m., the word was that Tevez could be permitted to play. By the time the satellite truck had turned up from Milton Keynes at 4 p.m., what I was hearing from the studio was that, because of the complications involved, Tevez was unlikely to be cleared to play against Wigan.

Hey presto, by the evening, Tevez is cleared to play. But it should be remembered that all this is consistent with the Premiership's stated wish to return to their good relationship with West Ham.

As the European Commission pointed out some time ago, the Premiership is a cartel. Under pressure from the UK Government, they failed to follow through on the logic of that position.

If you look at this from the point of view of the Premiership as a commercial operation, which it is, how is the London football market structured in terms of crowds but, above all, television appeal? Right at the top are Arsenal and Chelsea. Then (again alphabetically) come Spurs and West Ham. Way behind are Charlton and Fulham.

Paul Allen, a highly respected man in Seattle when I lived there, seems to be behind the Southampton bid on the grounds that is a 'family club'. Where are the bidders for Charlton? Not to be seen because it is not an attractive proposition in a crowded London football market.

These are issues to be thought about further if all does not go well today. Meantime, good luck to those who are travelling. Paul May will be reporting from Ewood Park later today.


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4:23 PM  

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