The Run of Play is a blog about
the wonder and terror of soccer.
We left the window open during a match in October 2007 and a strange wind blew into the room.
Now we walk the forgotten byways of football with a lonely tread, searching for the beautiful, the bewildering, the haunting, and the absurd.
But I’m struggling to have one about the news that Premier League teams have voted to explore a proposal to extend the season to 39 games and have each team play one match a year abroad. Actually, it’s easy to have an opinion: it’s a stupid proposal, it would slightly upset the competitive balance of the league, and it’s motivated almost entirely by money. But it’s also not the fiery end of the universe, and looking ahead to the inevitable frenzy of outrage from bloggers and football writers who will try to portray this as the moment the league finally turned its back on every true and honorable fan, it’s tempting to go into a bleary ignore mode until the sirens stop wailing.
Some people in Singapore might get to see a match in person. An unlucky team might have to play Manchester United three times. That’s what we’re looking at. I’m against it, but—if it’s possible to make this claim about anything in football—it’s really not that big a deal. The NFL managed to hold an actual game, that actually counted, at Wembley last year, and the winner went on to win the Super Bowl in a manner that did not quite succeed in alienating either the country as a whole or its hometown fans.
The Premier League has passed a proposal to explore another proposal that can’t go into effect until 2011 even if it’s passed after it’s been further explored. Step down from the balcony railing. Take my hand. Keep breathing.
UPDATE 2: Dave may well be right that “the Premier League is suggesting this outlandish idea to get fans to buy into a smaller idea” in the end.
UPDATE 3: You knew, of course, that if anyone was going to start throwing around Harlem Globetrotters comparisons, it would be Harry Redknapp.
Read More: Your Gnashing of Teeth Makes Me Drowsy
by Brian Phillips · February 7, 2008