The Premier League is back once again this weekend for another exciting set of fixtures, but instead of there being overwhelming anticipation, fans continue to voice their displeasure over one specific element of the league that they aren’t fans of – the revived box office games.
After six months of all games being shown on Sky, Amazon, BT or BBC, the Premier League themselves have now introduced box office games on both BT Sport and Sky Sports. They can try and come up with as many reasons as they want as to why they’ve done it, but let’s face it, this is a money grab and nothing more.
It exposes the Premier League for just how greedy they are and in all honesty, it has left many fans wondering why they even watch in the first place.
We come back around to the same conclusion, though – because we love football.
It forces us to endure some pretty stomach churning decisions such as these, but such is the painful nature of being a fan of the world’s best league.
Some clubs have decided to push back against the idea and others have kept quite quiet, but either way, we can’t picture a scenario in which something doesn’t change – because the price, if nothing else, is just too much to ask.
While he may not be someone who is held in particularly high regard in the world of football, even Newcastle owner Mike Ashley spoke out about what’s happened regarding the £14.95 box office price tag.
“Charging £14.95 for single televised matches in the current climate, it is not acceptable to any football fan,” Ashley said. “Supporters have overwhelmingly rejected this offer and the Premier League must now act.
“Why not make it much more accessible at £4.95 per match until Christmas?
“The government should waive VAT on the above pay-per-view matches so that as many of those who are unable to attend matches in person can at least watch their team.”
“The profit from the above reduced-price pay-per-view option, I would suggest that 50% would be retained by Premier League and 50% would go to the football pyramid below,” Ashley offered.
“As a club, Newcastle United did vote in favour of the pay-per-view proposal, but to be clear, this was because there were no realistic or any viable alternatives put forward to enable supporters to watch matches.”
Ashley isn’t someone that we should listen to all too often but that just isn’t the point. The point is that we’re in the midst of a global pandemic and the number of people that are going to be unemployed in a few months will shock the masses in more ways than one.
We, as a society, have to pull together if we’re serious about moving forward in the right direction. This isn’t a sign of us pulling together – this is a sign of the establishment slapping fans in the face, and it’s safe to say they’ve had enough.
Something must change, and that change needs to happen right now.