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Lofty

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Hmm, thing is Lofty normally I would agree that Hansen talks a reasonable amount of sense and is certainly one of the better pundits out there, but I think he's got the wrong end of the stick entirely this time.

'If you are going to suggest that the title race is going to be more open, then you have to come up with credible teams as challengers.

But to me, there is only one team that can challenge the top four and that is Tottenham - and they are struggling. Take Spurs out of the equation and you cannot come up any other serious challengers. '

For me, he has misintepreted Jose's comments completely, or he is a touch delusional. Im my mind, Jose was never suggesting that Villa or T*ttenham are genuine challengers for the title, but simply that they and others will take more points off the top 4 and this will make it a more open race between L*verpool, Chels, Man U and A*senal.

If Hansen believes that in previous seasons, it was anything other than a race between two (us and Man U obviously) then he is borderline insane. It is the strength in depth of the Prem and the money that L*verpool in particular have spent, that have made this potentially a 4 horse race and a more open affair than in previous years, not that Sp*rs or Villa have suddenly become credible contenders.

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For me, he has misintepreted Jose's comments completely, or he is a touch delusional. Im my mind, Jose was never suggesting that Villa or T*ttenham are genuine challengers for the title, but simply that they and others will take more points off the top 4 and this will make it a more open race between L*verpool, Chels, Man U and A*senal.

I totally agree with you.

Cheers,

Butch

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I have a question for you all.

Could it be said that Roman is the saviour of the Premiership? Or is he the antithesis of a saviour?

To me, before he came along, it was a top 2 team scenario. There were relatively no foreign investors in the premiership, unless you count the Irish blokes at man U.

Roman comes along, with a whirlwind of cash and leads Chelsea, with a colourful and controversial manager, to the top. Serious CL contenders, and serious contenders in ALL competitins they played in (not like Liverfool who only focused on one).

Since his arrival, Man U get taken over by the Glazers, That Icelandic bloke buys West ham and brings two great south american players to the premiership. Liverpool get bought by gillette, and then throw a ton of cash at their team to try and challenge on mroe than one front per season.

Now, I still think that there is a gap between the top 4 (which was only a top two a few years back) and the rest. But with other premiership bringing in better players constantly in the transfer windows, we are seeing more and more entertaining games at all levels of the prem.

On the flip side. Clubs are now seen as business opportunities, and are run accordingly. Asian, American, Afrivan markets are all ebing tapped up to provide more brand awareness and thus sell more merchandize. Clubs are being held to ransom for players, or players are touted to premiership clubs, thus drumming up their price. SImple Supply and demand.

The clubs then need to be able to stay in business, so they sell all their tickets off at higher prices, selling corporate boxes so those companies can have a :jolly fun day out with our foreign investors" at (insert club ground name here). Thus, making it harder and ahrder for the true fan to go and see the team their family has followed for generations.

So, in summation. can it be said that Roman has made the premiership more interesting by increasing teh talent on display, and making the title races far less predictable?

Or, has he turned the prem into a business venture for foreign investors who really don't care about the club they've bought, and thus price out those who really do care about the club?

Scott

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I think it's all too easy to lay the blame at Roman/Chelsea's door, but looking back it seems to me that the super-rich investor/owner scenario was inevitable, given spiralling cost of players and everything else to do with the game before Roman ever came along.

Look at Leeds (force yourself). It's true that without Roman's investment, we could well have ended up in a similar situation. Maybe "blame" is the wrong word, like it or loathe it, the modern game is developing to suit modern tastes, where entertainment and value for money are more important than loyalty and integrity. Speaking of which even the word "contract" has taken on a completely new meaning when it comes to football. Whereas normally a contract is a legally binding document, in the case of football, a contract seems to be legally binding only as long as it suits either or both parties.

But back to your point. Prices and costs were already spiralling far above inflationary levels, largely if not soley as a result of the billions of TV cash ploughed into the the game. When did things really start to go change/wrong? The first day of the Premiership was maybe the first outward sign that the money men were taking over. However, I'd go back to the first time Sky put in a bid for live Premiership football. Sky themselves being a multi-billion pound organisation, Premiserships clubs need their own billionaire backup merely to comply with the demands of Murdoch's Evil Empire.

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