Tuesday, September 20, 2005

English premiership doldrums

I used to watch a lot of English soccer. However, I lost interest over the last 4-5 years for many reasons, including NASN. I even used to go to England once or twice a season to see my favorite team, Wimbledon FC RIP (another reason I lost interest).

According to the English press top flight soccer is in trouble right now. Attendance is down and some people claim the league has become "boring".

I've heard all this before. Players are overpaid, tickets are too expensive, there's too little competitive balance and the games are too low-scoring. Listening to Johnny Giles and Eamonn Dunphy on Newstalk last night was like déjà vu.

It will be interesting to see how the Premiership deals with this situation. If it were American, they'd change the rules to increase scoring and enhance the competitive balance. This sort of thing drives the purist crazy (I'm talking about me here), but does seem to help to increase interest among those for whom the sport is not akin to a religious experience.

Giles approvingly noted that the NASL used to award extra points in the standings based on the number of goals scored. I thought Dunphy was going to expire just at the thought of such a change. I doubt the English soccer league will do anything quite so radical.