14 July, 2010 — MEDIA LENS: Correcting for the distorted vision of the corporate media
English football’s Premier League is a farce. Year in, year out, the same ‘Big Four’ super-teams – Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool – fight for the same top four spots they have dominated since the 1996-97 season. Even for casual consumers of football news, the truth is hard to miss: at the end of every season, the teams that have most of the money – supplied by tycoons, TV rights and participation in Europe’s even more glamorous Champions League – simply buy off the best players from the lesser teams that have been causing them trouble. And if the super-team managers fail to deliver, then the best managers and trainers are brought in to put things right.
Quality is bolstered by quantity to further reduce the risk of failure – the super-teams are actually multi-teams. If an inspired lesser team manages to compete with one of the Big Four, the latter can always bring on fresh-legged, world class substitutes with whom the lesser teams, with no superstars on the bench, are unable to compete. The reality is that, over the course of a season, super-teams compete against lesser squads with the equivalent of two, three or more squads of their own. The cards – the credit cards, cash, lucre – are totally stacked in favour of the Big Four.
Week after week, Big Four fans look on breathlessly to see if a ton of money will once again allow the big business machine they call ‘us’ to overwhelm teams with a fraction of ‘our’ resources. No one seems to notice, or care, that every match is begun on a playing field mechanically tilted by giant under-pitch cogs towards the goal of the lesser team.
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