OLIVER HOLT: The Premier League sent their attack dogs but failed in their pathetic propaganda

If you had by no means considered Tracey Crouch and Mao Tse-Tung as ideological bedfellows earlier than, then the Premier League invite you to assume once more. 

The impression the keen Premier League hit squad conveyed was that despite the fact that Crouch would possibly look and act like a extremely competent, extensively revered, unusually principled MP and former sports activities minister who had simply launched a set of cogent proposals arising from a fan-led evaluation into English soccer, she was, in truth, a undercover agent of the Comintern, the spawn of Satan and an existential risk to life on earth.

Christian Purslow, the chief govt of Aston Villa, wagged his finger and bade us beware the plans for an unbiased regulator, a golden share for followers and a switch tax. Baroness Brady, the chief govt of West Ham United, mentioned of the proposals: ‘The last time I looked we did not live in Russia, China or North Korea.’

The Premier League sent their attack dogs out to oppose regulation (pictured: Aston Villa chief Christian Purslow)


The Premier League sent their attack dogs out to oppose regulation (pictured: Aston Villa chief Christian Purslow)

And it was Angus Kinnear, the chief govt of Leeds United, who gained First Prize for Stupid by likening the deliberate reforms to the agrarian insurance policies of Mao, which killed tens of tens of millions. A half-baked TED Talk about Chinese historical past from an over-excitable advertising and marketing man whose experience lies in flogging cans of Coke appeared like a curious method for the Premier League to make their case.

All that these interventions achieved was a hardening of the place towards the Premier League. Put all this clumsy, laughable, pathetic propaganda collectively and we’re taking a look at a textbook instance of what the author Martin Amis as soon as known as ‘species fear’.

They are afraid as a result of regulation, and a switch tax, promise a extra equitable share of broadcasting income between the Premier League and the Football League. They are afraid as a result of regulation would cease golf equipment betraying their followers by, say, becoming a member of a European Super League or shifting to a brand new stadium with out supporter consent or altering the membership crest. They are afraid as a result of there shall be extra stringent exams for possession. They are afraid as a result of, for the primary time, limits shall be imposed on their greed.


West Ham chief Karren Brady (above) compared regulation to living in North Korea or Russia

West Ham chief Karren Brady (above) in contrast regulation to dwelling in North Korea or Russia

Kinnear won First Prize for Stupid with his analysis Mao Tse-Tung was a Chinese dictator

Leeds chief Angus Kinnear (left) likened the plans to the insurance policies of Mao Tse-Tung (proper)


That worry was uncovered once more on the Premier League’s emergency assembly on Friday when the golf equipment vowed to withstand the proposed reforms. Crouch’s proposals had been described as ‘emotional’, apparently, which was meant to be patronising and undermining. But I’m glad there may be emotion in the proposals. The try to save lots of English soccer from membership house owners who care solely about enriching themselves is price getting emotional about.

Forget the thought, trotted out by Purslow et al, that no sports activities league in the world provides extra away than the Premier League. That is sophistry. It ignores the truth that extremely profitable American leagues just like the NFL are primarily based on a stage of income sharing and expertise sharing, by the draft system, that will mark them out to individuals like Brady and Kinnear as de facto disciples of Kim Jong-un. Heaven forbid we ever point out the thought of a wage cap to them.

The Premier League try to take care of they’re higher certified to run the highest flight than a regulatory board and if they’d not spent a lot of the final two years attempting to pay attention energy in the arms of the Big Six, kill the remainder of English soccer by becoming a member of the European Super League, drag their heels when the decrease leagues begged for assist through the pandemic, and if they’d not been bathing their arms in Saudi blood cash, I may need extra sympathy for their argument. As they’re, I’ve none.

The Premier League are pushing back hard against Tracey Crouch's proposals for reform

The Premier League are pushing again exhausting towards Tracey Crouch’s proposals for reform

There shall be no apology right here for the emotive language, by the way in which. I watched BBC sports activities editor Dan Roan’s wonderful interview with Premier League chief govt Richard Masters final week and heard him ask Masters if he was ‘comfortable’ with certainly one of his golf equipment — Newcastle United — being owned by a fund chaired by a crown prince who, in accordance with western intelligence companies, ordered the killing of a journalist. ‘I have to be ultimately comfortable with it,’ mentioned Masters. Which was good.

We can add that to the issues we should not neglect. Don’t neglect the house owners of our main golf equipment tried to destroy English soccer as soon as with Project Big Picture. Then they tried to do it once more by becoming a member of the European Super League. They begged for forgiveness the primary time and mentioned it could by no means occur once more. Then they begged for forgiveness the second time and mentioned it could by no means occur once more. And now they appear shocked by the concept nobody trusts them any extra and nobody believes them any extra. 

Without regulation, ultimately, greed will compel the house owners of Manchester United, Liverpool, Tottenham, Arsenal, Manchester City and Chelsea to have one other go at taking all the cash for themselves and abandoning the remainder of the English recreation. Without regulation, they are going to be drawn again to the mannequin the American house owners, in specific, belief most, which is a closed-shop league with no relegation. With regulation, they won’t be able to do this. Greed is constructed in to those membership house owners. They must be saved from themselves.

Richard Masters' insistence that he is 'comfortable' with Newcastle's ownership is another thing we cannot forget about those in charge of the Premier League

Richard Masters’ insistence that he’s ‘comfy’ with Newcastle’s possession is one other factor we can not neglect about these in cost of the Premier League

They would possibly even be proper after they warn that nobody is aware of precisely what the make-up of a regulatory board would appear like. But what they don’t perceive is that most individuals assume it couldn’t look any worse than the established order. What we’ve got in the mean time is a system that twice took English soccer to the brink of catastrophe. Is it actually any surprise that some checks and balances appear to be an excellent factor?

Purslow is an in a position administrator and communicator but when he talked about how we have to be cautious to not kill the ‘golden goose’, he may need been speaking about precisely what the Premier League have been risking with English soccer.

They have constructed a unbelievable league. It is massively financially profitable. It supplies unbelievable leisure. It options most of the finest gamers in the world. And but for United, Liverpool and among the relaxation, that’s not sufficient. It isn’t sufficient.

Daniel Levy (L) and John Henry (R) were not wheeled out to defend the top flight as they are the enemies of English football

Daniel Levy (L) and John Henry (R) weren’t wheeled out to defend the highest flight as they’re the enemies of English soccer

Maybe that’s the reason, when the Premier League sent out the attack dogs final week, there was no signal of Ed Woodward, John W Henry, Daniel Levy, Josh Kroenke or any of the opposite architects of the plans to pay attention energy and wealth in the arms of some golf equipment.

These persons are the enemies of English soccer, not Tracey Crouch. Crouch and the proposals emanating from her evaluation signify the way in which ahead for our recreation and the assaults on her have to this point solely served to show the vacancy of Premier League considering. Amid all their riches, they’re bankrupt.

Let us go away them to posture about Mao Tse-Tung and North Korea and let others get on with the duty of defending the Premier League and the remainder of the pyramid from the predators inside. Now is the time to undertake Crouch’s key proposals, earlier than it’s too late.  


If David de Gea had been badly damage when he was inadvertently stamped upon by Fred in the build-up to Arsenal’s first aim towards Manchester United on Thursday, if he had subsequently been carried off on a stretcher, there may need been a case for Arsenal permitting United to attain on the different finish earlier than the sport progressed.

But De Gea was not badly damage. He was capable of proceed quickly after the incident and he accomplished the sport. So there was no controversy about Emile Smith Rowe’s aim. Justice was served. Next time, perhaps De Gea will strive tougher to make a save.

There can be no sympathy for David de Gea after the goalkeeper's howler against Arsenal

There could be no sympathy for David de Gea after the goalkeeper’s howler towards Arsenal


Every defeat at each membership appears to end result in requires a supervisor to be fired but there may be specific vacuity in the simmering marketing campaign towards Mikel Arteta at Arsenal.

Yes, Arsenal misplaced to Manchester United on Thursday evening after they may need gained, but there are simple indicators of progress and optimism at a membership who’ve been denied them for too lengthy. Things are going in the proper course finally on the Emirates. Now just isn’t the time to lose religion.


Credit to Lewis Hamilton for condemning Saudi Arabia’s ‘terrifying’ legal guidelines governing the nation’s LGBTQ group and for saying he felt ‘uncomfortable’ competing in the inaugural Saudi Arabia Grand Prix. 

The extra individuals like him converse out, the extra footballers converse out about equally repressive measures in Qatar earlier than subsequent yr’s World Cup, the extra gentle it’s going to shine on the regimes which have settled on sportswashing as their method ahead.

Hamilton has led the way on challenging sportswashing, now more stars must do the same

Hamilton has led the way in which on difficult sportswashing, now extra stars should do the identical


Fiercely proficient, articulate, dynamic and charismatic, Bryony Frost was the sort of courageous new ambassador for soar racing that the game had dreamed of. 

Now, as she stands on the centre of allegations she was bullied by a fellow jockey and says she has been ostracised by colleagues as a result of she has breached the weighing room’s omerta, she has change into a logo of embarrassment for a sport that appears resistant to alter.   

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