There is growing anger that the Ukraine-England World Cup 'qualifier'
will not be shown on TV, forcing fans to fork out for a pay-per-view internet
Early Doors says 'qualifier' not qualifier because the game's significance for England is absolutely nil. Apologies
if you come from Ukraine,
for whom it means rather a lot.
Football does not struggle to get on the box - people have long complained about saturation television coverage. If broadcasters chose not to show
the game, it is because they know full well that nobody cares about it.
BBC and ITV deem Hole in the Wall and You've Been Framed more lucrative than the national
team - just about the most damning indictment possible of this dead rubber.
And let's not
forget; Setanta held the rights in the first place so nobody was going to see
fan-in-chief Mark Perryman's well-meaning
rant, describing the situation as "disastrous" and "a
disgrace" is about 15 years out of date.
He says: "A qualifier should be available for everybody
on free-to-air TV. FIFA and UEFA should insist."
It is a point, although not one that ED agrees with -
however much watching England can at times resemble a state funeral, the public does not have an absolute right to see the national team play a preliminary
match in some far-flung central Asian outpost.
beef is not with internet streaming, but with anything that isn't terrestrial TV. He should talk to the 1990s, 'cos the noughties ain't
Many people already use 'unofficial' streaming sites, and as broadband speeds get
faster, watching TV on the web grows ever-more prevalent.
For example, American Football fans can subscribe to a
streaming service that lets them watch every NFL game live on the internet -
with an HD-quality picture if their internet connection is fast enough.
And this is the point. If you can get as good a picture
through your PC as through your TV then really what's
In fact, ED suggests most angry fans are just upset they can't use the game as a backdrop to eight pints of Stella
early on Saturday evening.
That's not to say
this weekend's broadcast will be a
success. Rather optimistically, the number of subscribers has been 'limited'
to one million.
Given punters will be paying either £4.99, £9.99 or £11.99
depending on how organised/desperate they are, it doesn't
take a genius to realise that would represent a significant upgrade on the £2
million rights-holders Kentaro reportedly wanted.
In short, they have no chance.
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Sulaiman al-Fahim was nothing if not a trailblazer, a man
who broke down barriers.
Nobody has done more to explode the damaging stereotype that
all Arab businessmen are filthy rich. Al-Fahim proved that some are just like
the rest of us; penniless jokers.
Anyway, he has now sold 90 per cent of his stake in Portsmouth to what the
club hope is a genuine middle-eastern tycoon, Ali al-Faraj.
So that's all
Al-Faraj has apparently passed the Premier League's stringent Fit and Proper Person test, giving him
something in common with Al-Fahim and Thaksin Shinawatra, who is currently
exiled in Nicaragua facing money-laundering charges. Which he denies.
One day, ED plans to 'buy' a Premier League club, just to see how far it can
get before having to stump up any money. What's
more, it will do it all while wearing a gorilla suit and communicating only
through a series of grunts and clicks. ED has no doubt it would sail through
the Fit and Proper Person test.
- - -
A pertinent stat can be worth a thousand words, so well done
to whichever FA source fed The Times ProZone data proving Sir Alex Ferguson
unequivocally wrong in his claim that referee Alan Wiley was "unfit".
Wiley covered 11,039 metres during the Manchester
United-Sunderland game on Saturday - further than all but four United players.
- - -
QUOTE OF THE DAY: George Gillett
blames Rafa Benitez for Liverpool's woes: "The money we have invested means it
should be getting better. Now, if it's not getting better, it's
not Gillett and Hicks, it's the
manager, it's the scouting. You have to make sure you balance out your
analysis. There was plenty of money, so
if you have any complaints, take a look at the ins and outs."
FOREIGN VIEW: A Bulgarian third division
match was abandoned after only four minutes when quick injuries left an already
depleted team with only six players on the pitch.
Home side Gigant Belene began their
highly-anticipated clash with Chavdar Byala Slatina on Sunday with only eight players,
saying they were unable to field a fuller line-up due to a large number of
injured and suspended players.
Gigant, second in the standings before the
match, were quickly reduced to six after two players sustained injuries, leaving
referee Stoyan Denev no choice but to blow the whistle.
FOREIGN VIEW 2: Adult fans at one of Australia's most popular motor sport races, the Bathurst
1000, will be limited to one 'slab' of beer a day - or 24 375 ml cans
- as police focus on reducing alcohol-related crime.
The 24-can rule would also be placed on mixed
drinks for the V8 car race starting on Thursday which draws thousands to the
rural town of Bathurst in eastern New South Wales state, the
NSW police said.
But more restrained spectators would be able
to slake their thirst, if not their craving for alcohol, with up to 36 cans of low
or mid-strength beer.
Wine lovers must make do with no more than
four litres of cask wine per day and combinations of the options would not be allowed,
the police statement said.
- - -
It's here! We now finished typing the correct sequence of 1s and 0s into a
technical system that makes an abacus look like the hadron super-collider.
Still, the 24-hour gap between recording and publishing may
lend it a certain sepia-tinted charm. Or not.