Day 7 At The Euros, TV Rights And Transfer Talk
Day 5 was arguably the most enjoyable day of the tournament so far, with the Germany-Netherlands duel and a riveting contest between Denmark and Portugal. Day 6, in comparison, was possibly the least impressive even though six goals were scored.
Four of those six came in the Spain-Ireland match and it was hardly a surprise that the Spaniards scored all of them. Spain had 75% possession, attempted 27 shots of which 15 were on target, spent two-thirds of the match in the opponents half and still barely got out of second gear. To their credit, the Irish ran and chased till the end – it’s an admirable quality in their team, trying to make up for the lack of quality with lots of endeavor. In the end, the gulf in class was too wide and Ireland achieved the dubious distinction of being the first team to be eliminated from Euro 2012.
The other match between Italy and Croatia was a much more even contest. Croatia gave as good as they got, in fact they had the better chances to win the game. The Italians’ 3-5-2 stifled the Croatian midfield in the first half but Mario Balotelli continued his Manchester City wastefulness. Still, an Andrea Pirlo curler (a Pirler, if you may) gave the Italians the lead before half time. Croatia shored up the midfield in the second and their two strikers up front were a handful for the Italian defense. 1-1 was the right result. Although there was a lot of goal-mouth action, both teams didn’t play display as much quality as expected.
England take on Sweden today and Steven Gerrard feels the Three Lions will win the game if they play like they did against France. England had one shot on target in that game, a header from a set piece – so I guess Gerrard feels that’s enough threat to take care of Ibrahimovic and Co. Of course, what he meant was that England should show the same determination and solidity at the back.
He also felt England could be more positive against the Scandinavians. I think they will need to be. Sweden were quite poor against Ukraine but if England defend deep, they will only invite the Swedes on to them. 2-0 to England if they play to win, 1-1 otherwise. AOC to score regardless, if he starts.
Elsewhere, Sky and BT have secured domestic TV rights for the Premier League from the 2013 season in a whopping £1b a-year three-year deal. It means the clubs will pocket £14m a year more than they get at present. And this is before income from overseas rights, which should also see a sharp increase with the growing popularity of the English league in the Asian and African markets.
The deal highlights the tremendous growth opportunties for football clubs beyond the local environment. While matchday revenue and turnstile receipts continue to form a large part of every club’s income, there is very limited scope for growth here. On the other hand, commercial revenue and TV income are growing exponentially as football reaches deeper into newer markets.
Arsenal Football Club, surprisingly, have been left behind by other top clubs on the commercial front. While Chelsea, Liverpool and now Manchester City have aggressively developed partner programs, Arsenal have been weighed down by long-term deals signed to secure stadium finance. Things are changing though and Arsenal’s pre-season trips to the Far East and Nigeria are a step in the right direction. India is an up-and-coming market too and none of the top Premier League clubs have made in-roads there. Hopefully, Arsenal will be more aggressive in developing new partners and venturing into new markets in the coming years and the additional income should allow the club to further invest in the playing squad.
The fact that the additional TV money will not be in the bank until 2013 is not much concern for journalists though who are already spending it. Every notable performance from a hitherto unknown player invites a link to Arsenal. Russia’s Alan Dzagoev, who’s having a fantastic tournament so far, is the latest one to be linked with a move to the Emirates. The Giroud-to-Arsenal campaign is gaining momentum and a deal is supposedly just around the corner.
As Chamakh’s replacement, he seems a more capable striker and will provide good depth to the squad and a different line of attack. Of course, it raises questions on how Arsenal will line up next year, especially if RvP stays. It’s a problem of plenty we’ve not had for a few years now and is most welcome.