Prune Juice...


In 2015, the former Chairman of Tottenham Hotspur, Alan Sugar, said of the Premier League's £5.1bn television deal that it was like prune juice - going in at one end and out of the other. Well, things haven't changed, have they?

The report that Manchester City have churned out £65m for the Benfica centre half, Ruben Dias, beggars belief. You could put it another way. When former Prime Minister James Callaghan returned from an overseas trip in 1979 to be confronted by rubbish piling up in the streets, he reportedly said 'Crisis? What Crisis?' And you may think that's the message from most boardrooms in the bog-standard Premier League.

The transfer system was always justified by the former Secretary of the Football League, Alan Hardaker, on the grounds that it allowed money to circulate throughout the game and provide a lifeline to smaller clubs like Pools. In other words, it was a classic case of free market economics where there was a trickle down from the rich to the poor. Sadly, that doesn't apply these days, when most of the big money transfers are for overseas players (with benefits to agents) so the money doesn't stay in the English game.
"It is, of course, in the EFL and the National League that we have the genuine crisis."

It is, of course, in the EFL and the National League that we have the genuine crisis. At this time last year, Poolies were speculating as to how we'd started and what prospects lay in wait. It's in the EFL and NL where directors and players are on tenterhooks. Ok, it seems that the EFL will get some sort of a bail-out from the Premier League, but that won't last long if restrictions run through till the end of March. Its not a good future. As the Harrogate Town manager Simon Weaver told the Daily Mirror, "Clubs like ours rely on fans. We had to take wage cuts and furlough people, but it papered over the cracks. Clubs are on a cliff edge'.

A player from Pools' first opponents, Aldershot Town, told the BBC website "The Premier League is in its own bubble, they are a million miles away from where we are and don't realise the financial situation that a lot of clubs lower down the league might be in."

So, when the season finally gets under way, it will mean a streaming of games and this won't bring in the same money which is generated through the turnstiles. However, we'll be able to see our new signings, of which there have been a number. Although pre-season friendlies have been against weaker teams, they did generate some interest and confidence. At least, there's been nothing to complain about.

Keep the faith!!!

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