THE arrogance of English football is getting worse with every season that passes.
Premier League and FA chiefs’ latest show of complete disdain was on Tuesday night when they went completely against UEFA policy and arranged the Merseyside derby between Liverpool and Everton, which was shown live on Sky TV.
UEFA has ruled that games should not be played in direct competition to their premier events the Champions League and the Europa League, but because there isn’t a lot of English interest in Europe in the latter part of this season, the law doesn’t seem to matter anymore.
A Scottish Cup game between St Johnstone and Hearts fell foul of this last month after the tie was switched to Thursday night, the same evening as the Europa League.
The game at McDiarmid Park was set to be shown live on BBC Scotland, so the decision to pull the plug cost each side around £82,500.
To Scottish clubs, or pretty much any club out of the English Premier League, a boost of £82,500 would be massive.
It would help with wages or even help pay for the half-time oranges. All credit to the Scottish FA though, they did postpone the game and elected to follow the rules laid out in front of them.
In deep contrast, the almighty English Premier League and FA didn’t even ask if they could broadcast Tuesday’s battle of Merseyside, even though you could broadcast this game at 3am on a Monday morning and you would still get a decent audience.
These people are supposed to be setting an example at the top of the game, rather than adding to the aloofness that is already spreading through every nook and cranny of English football.
It runs from managers, down through John Terry et al, to referees and on to fans. Hardly ever at any level of the English game do you see respect being shown to an opponent or whoever.
The Tyne-Wear derby was the perfect example of this, when enormously uncharismatic Newcastle boss Alan Pardew set out on a little dance in front of Sunderland manager Martin O’Neill when his side were awarded a penalty.
I wasn’t interested who won the game, but I had a little smile when that particular spot-kick was missed.
It also happens at international level, which is one of the contributing factors to the English national team not winning a major trophy in my lifetime.
Not only does arrogance annoy people, making them want desperately to beat you. But it also affects concentration, making you think you are better than you are.
And more locally, Scarborough Athletic haven’t been helped in recent seasons by a certain website linked vaguely to the club.
On this site there is a prediction competition each week, which gives fans the chance to tell anyone reading the site how many goals Boro are going to win by at the weekend. No doubt, many an opposing player has read this on a Friday night to give themselves a pre-match pep-talk.
Arrogance just seems to be in the make-up of English football, and this won’t change while the money is continually pumped in at the top by Sky TV and other sources.
What is good for the big, fat geese at the top level, is good for the rest of us ganders.
Does that make sense?