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Sky should be careful what they wish for - Part Two


Dorset
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Back in February, when we were less likely to win a third Premiership title than we are today, I broached the subject of Sky?s undoubted and unflinching support for ManU in the two horse race and since then there has been yet more evidence of what wishful thinking can do to the best laid plans of the moguls. I?m referring, of course, to the Great Game Robbery by ITV and Setanta and the stealing away of the FA Cup games supporting Sky?s crumbling claim to domination of live football coverage. Cracks had appeared earlier when forty or so little Prem rascals left the building and took a trip to Ireland in an enforced ?fair trade? package deal, but losing FA Cup and England matches leaves a gaping credibility gap in both Sky?s assertions and schedules.

What?s that got to do with your average Chelsea fan? Well, we are about to see if pandering to the masses in the form of biased reporting actually leads to loyalty when it comes to keeping subscribers or whether, as most people believe, it has little or no effect on Setanta?s ability to attract new ones. In the opinion of this Chelsea fan, the pro-United, pro-Pool lobby on Sky will fear substantial losses because, having set the tone since the arrival of Abramovich, the Irish opposition not only think they can do a similar hatchet job on the cartel-breaking Blues, but have already tested the water with criticism of us that has included blatant abuse of our manager.

At first sight it could be regarded as a hard act to follow after witnessing the preview of Saturday?s game when Jeff Stelling received news that Ballack was left on the bench, promptly threw the following question out to the panel - ?Is this the beginning of the end for Ballack?? - and was nearly killed in the acquiescent rush. No mention of it being the most important week of our season and the possible need to rest players, merely a predictable clamour to accentuate the Chelsea negative, as per usual.

It?s handbags really and gullible guff seeking viewers will soon start asking the more pertinent question - why watch Stelling and Co make an innuendo meal of CFC when you can go way down the food chain and tuck into a Giles, Dunphy or Brady bilge burger? It?s brutally obvious that, having set the biased agenda, Sky will now have to kowtow to the Irish Masters of grubbing around, with the clearest example so far being a proclamation that Jose?s a poof! The Barmy Blarneys have seen the sort of standard that has been set and know they can put their own special professional stamp on proceedings, thereby out-rubbishing the Sky opposition every step of the way.

It may be perverse logic, but, when red spectacled subscribers start leaving in droves (as they will) to sign up with Setanta, the Sky ratings experts might like to give some thought to just who their loyal friends could be in the future. A couple of questions the researchers might like to ask themselves are these?

1. Is it time to look at market share in a different way, bearing in mind the fact that there?s no competing with the Irish, Mancs and ?Pool axis?

2. Given the growing number of Chelsea fans (glory hunters to the number crunchers, but ?clients? nevertheless) isn?t it time to pay attention? After all, just why would your average Chelsea fan want to watch his team play on the Setanta channel? Nope, can?t think of a good reason, or ever will.

Having made the quantum leap, Sky could then give consideration to some radical pruning of the self-indulgent, hardy annual, Reds in their bed. For starters, how about a new panel on Soccer Saturday to include Pat Nevin and Kerry Dixon, replacing Thommo, who of his own accord, and with a bit of luck, may yet ?walk? across the sea to Ireland, and Charlie, the Scottish leprechaun look-alike, who over the last month or so has withered on the vine, but who steadfastly retains his sourness when commenting on Chelsea games.

Driven to drink or food for thought, Sky have to respond in some fashion, as opposed to initially ignoring the bidding outcome on their very own Sky Sports News. The continued carping about Roman, Jose, the cost of living and the price of everything Blue doesn?t appear to be such a good policy plan when the new kids on the block are cheaper, encamped in your heartland and prepared to go further than you when using similar tactics.

To be fair, there was a move in the right direction when Ray Wilkins was chosen as the studio expert for the Pompey/ManU game, albeit to avoid the claim of nepotism over Jamie Redknapp. Expected to display some allegiance to United, having played for them in the past, it came as quite a shock to Richard Keys to hear a brave Butch backing us in virtually every comparison made of the relative strengths of the top two. Okay, maybe it was just a lucky ?one off? analysis-wise, but, to use a good old Northern phrase, it might just be time for Sky to think on.

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yet another of your well written and thought provoking posts Dorset.

It isn't any better in the US watching on Fox Soccer. Actually this season we have hardly featured on the live games, compared to the last 2 seasons when I was able to watch virtually every game. I think the Manks have been on pretty much every week.

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You can understand Phil Thompson having a pro-Liverpool bias, after all, he's a native Scouse, who not only played for them, but has also acted as their manager. His saving grace is that he does at least have a sense of humour, and can take a joke at his expense. Then there's Paul Merson, understandably pro-Arsenal, but does come across as fairly reasonable and honest in his opinions, as does Lee Dixon over on MOTD. But Charlie Nicholas? That twisted Jock bastritch never misses a chance to show his deep seated hatred of all things Chelsea FC related. Never was that good though, was he? Can't stand the bloke.

If you think Sky are biased towards those in red, take a listen to TalkSport sometime. Not only is the place crawling with Scousers, but I believe that they are more responsible than any other organisation for deliberately spreading hatred towards Chelsea FC. Even on their non-sports shows, Jon Gaunt that obnoxious bar steward of a Coventry supporter once introduced his programme by announcing that he hoped that Chelse got stuffed, because .. "they're not a proper club like Coventry and Liverpool are, and their supporters are all glory hunters". They've now got Ian Wright (yes THAT Ian Wright) as a presenter, but even he isn't as rabidly anti-CFC as Adrian Durham - if ever there was one radio or TV or any other kind of presenter that truly deserves to have his teeth extracted one by one followed by that foul tongue of his, it's that ginger tosser.

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yet another of your well written and thought provoking posts Dorset.

It isn't any better in the US watching on Fox Soccer. Actually this season we have hardly featured on the live games, compared to the last 2 seasons when I was able to watch virtually every game. I think the Manks have been on pretty much every week.

Yes, but you also have the option of also buying Setanta sports, in which case you won't miss more than 5 games a year.

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