Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Football Before Sky

Polly Toynbee writes:

Was it Rupert Murdoch wot lost England the World Cup? With shedloads of sports rights money he corrupted the game, turning clubs into highly leveraged financial instruments overpaying their players, while fans pay for what was once free on TV. So say some, but I leave that to football aficionados.

It isn't true that Rupert Murdoch simply charges people for what was free before, in the days before Sky the terrestrial channels did very little with the rights to live top flight football with barely 2 dozen games shown live each season. They didn't recognise the value of what they had and Rupert Murdoch did. In other words he substantially improved the product that was on offer.

Incidentally I'd be willing to bet that corruption was a far bigger problem before Sky as well, back in the 1960s there was an infamous betting scandal that cost several players their careers. Underpaid players are much more vulnerable to corruption that the disgustingly rich. It is the love of money that corrupts not money itself and people tend to love it just a bit more when they don't have any.


Umbongo said...

" . . . while fans pay for what was once free on TV" Free to air, I think she means - but not free to receive thanks to the BBC licence tax.

I wonder why Polly charges her employers a reputed £120,000 pa so they can relay her meanderings to a stunned readership. Why doesn't she do it for nothing? I'm sure the Guardian could do with the money thus saved. She could set up her own blog and write her articles solely on that blog. That way she'd really take the moral high ground. Of course she might have to sacrifice her Tuscan second (or is it third?) home but surely it would be worth it to Polly to see Murdoch squirm.

Blognor Regis said...

Good point. There should be a Maximum Wage for Guardian writes. Circa £20/week.