Date: 11th September 2008 at 11:23am
Written by:

Before I start, maybe I am being naive or missing a point, but I cannot see – although out of principle things are wrong – why they are any more wrong with one TV station than they are another…

Over the past few days, with England having both world cup qualifiers on setanta sports – with this going to be the case with all away games, and plenty of FA cup games and others – I have noticed that they have come in for a hell of a lot of criticism.

But is this really fair and just?

I am sure that I heard the England fans chanting ‘we hate setanta’ during the game with Andorra at the weekend? A friend and I had been drinking a fair bit but these chants continued throughout the game, and we are both sure that is what was being sung. We could not work out if this was due to the game kicking off late on a Saturday evening due to TV scheduling, the fact that the game was on setanta full stop, or maybe even both?

It appears it is because the game was on setanta full stop…

I say this as I have noticed more and more people around Vital Football complaining that England games should be on terrestrial TV, but to be fair why is what setanta are doing any different to what sky sports had been doing for the past decade or so? And will continue to do!

If I recall until recent years sky sports was the only place to watch most of England’s games, and unless I am mistaken – and the bank has been direct debiting me, and thousands of others, each month for years – sky does not come for free! And that is putting aside the thought that not all of us even have sky!

Ok, maybe you have to pay a ‘subscription’ to get setanta, but they are hardly going to let you have the package for free are they! Sky has not been letting you have sky sports and the premier league and international games that go with it for free have they, and although most might have sky these days not all of us do, so it has not been as if ‘all of us’ would have been able to watch England games for free anyway is it…

At the end of the day the simple truth is things have ‘come down to money’, setanta offered the highest price for the right to show England games so instead of blaming them – and I know I hate the way TV dictates football these days as much as the next person – should we not be blaming the FA, or whoever it is that sold the England rights to the highest bidder?

They could have accepted a package – if there was one – from the BBC at a lesser rate, but they are the ones that have sold out. It just so happens that setanta, which comes with a subscription, are the ones the FA – or again as said, whoever sells the TV rights – sold out to, so is it not they that should shoulder most of, or at least share the brunt of the discontent?

Maybe we really are ‘just a nation or moaners’, as the British are often portrayed? People say that is what we are good at – maybe it is true? Recently more and more people have moaned and groaned that ‘England does not mean anything to them these days’, or at least ‘as much’, and/or ‘they do not watch them anymore anyway’ – so why moan when having the option to watch is taken away, not that it has technically been ‘an option’ that was viable to each and everyone of us – those with a TV when on terrestrial TV – for donkies years anyway…

PLAY UP POMPEY!

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