Liverpool and Manchester United joining breakaway league will be the best thing to happen to the remaining professional clubs in this country
Sitting there in the pub on Sunday watching the M23 Derby, I’d almost written this week's column in my mind.
Yes, the Albion had 20 goal attempts, yes Crystal Palace were the first EPL team in 16 years not to have a single shot on target in open play in 90 mins.
A Palace victory, by virtue of a questionable penalty, would have been a travesty, but the record books will show that eventually the Albion equalised and it was honours even.
Two often used footballing phrases have stuck in my mind since Sunday.
“Goals pay the rent” a classic piece of commentary from the legendary David Coleman during the 1974 F A Cup Final, and “Too good to go down”.
Unfortunately both sound bites apply to the Albion, it’s not rocket science. “Potterball” is producing some of the most impressive football ever seen in the Albion’s history with one glaring omission, an end product, and if the Albion don’t score enough goals, however proficient they are in other areas on the field they will go down.
The pre-match news on Sunday came in the form of the signing of ex England striker Danny Welbeck, who already appears to be making the right noises stating he wants to get the Albion into the Top Ten, football not singing that is.
He’s not the first ex England striker that’s rejuvenated the Albion, back in 1964, Bobby Smith rocked the football world when he left 1st Division Spurs for 4th Division Brighton, back then Smith netted 19 times in 31 games for Brighton, I’d take that return from Welbeck this season in a heartbeat.
By Tuesday afternoon Welbeck top ten prediction moved a step closer to reality allbeit in a couple of years with news that American owned Liverpool and Manchester United were in talks to join a breakaway European super league competition along with the cream of Europe which would almost certainly include Manchester City, Spurs, Arsenal and Chelsea.
From early reports of the move, apparently supported by FIFA, it's all about TV deals and effectively a competition which will have no promotion or relegation, a European footballing version of the NFL, and a competition built not on tradition but unadulterated greed.
If the top six do go ahead with this plan, it shows utter contempt for the rest of domestic football, but bizarrely in my opinion it will the best thing to happen to the remaining 86 professional clubs in this country.
We can return to four divisions, in Leagues were the best footballing team wins not necessarily the richest, granted the TV money will decrease significantly but then if that happens clubs can cut their cloth accordingly, wages and transfer fees will be realistic again and ultimately the fans of the clubs that remain in domestic will in part get their beautiful game back.
Let them go and frankly good riddance.
And finally £14.95 to watch the clash of the Albion’s on Sky Box Office on Monday night?
To quote Simon Cowell it’s a no from me, for non-footballing reasons none of us can attend games, so why do Sky TV choose to effectively profit from the Covid-19 pandemic?
On this occasion, I will roll back the years and listen on the wireless and as a point of the principle I will donate £14.95 to the British Legion Poppy Appeal.