Considering it has been in existence for the best part of three decades and is one of the most talked-about sporting competitions in the world, it is amazing how many people do not really know what the Premier League is.
It is amazing how many people do not know how it actually works.
And by ‘people’, I’m not just talking punters, fans, observers.
I’m talking players, managers.
The Premier League is a private members’ club, run by the owners of the 20 teams who happen to be in it.
So when managers call out the Premier League for the fixture scheduling or for its Covid policy or for anything else, they are actually calling out the people who employ them, the people who pay them millions to coach a football side.
So, perhaps they should be more specific.
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When Jurgen Klopp says the scheduling is ‘insane’, maybe he should say Fenway Sports Group is ‘insane’ for coming up with it.
Because FSG helped come up with it.
When Pep Guardiola goes on about how a strike would be the best course of action, maybe he should say it would be a strike against Sheikh Mansour.
If you want credibility to underscore your complaints, aim those complaints at the right targets – those who pay you in excess of a million pounds a month.
Only it is a vicious circle, of course.
The owners of the clubs want the world’s best managers. But the world’s best managers want the big bucks. The world’s best managers demand the big bucks.
To pay the big bucks, the clubs need to earn the big bucks and the big bucks come from the TV companies.
And the TV companies will pay the big bucks as long as they have games to show on the 26th, 27th, 28th and 29th of December, etc, etc.
That is how it works. It is business.
These gargantuan player and manager salaries have to come from somewhere and they are not coming from a schedule that gives teams reasonable time off.
They are coming from Sky Sports, they are coming from BT Sport, they are coming from Amazon Prime.
The owners who pay the fortunes to the likes of Klopp and Guardiola and their players have long since sold English football’s soul to television.
So, it is not some vague body known as ‘the Premier League’ which is to blame for what managers seem to believe is crazy fixture scheduling.
It is John W Henry. It is Sheikh Mansour. It is Roman Abramovich. It is Stan Kroenke. It is Joe Lewis. It is David Sullivan and David Gold. It is Joe Lewis. And so on.
Manchester City FC via Getty Images)
Direct your anger at them.
It is all well and good managers saying they are angry with the Premier League for the way it runs the competition.
But the Premier League comprises a cabal of YOUR bosses. Take it up with them.
The complaints of all these managers are valid, entirely valid.
But they would be far more valid if they were aimed at the characters who write their extravagant pay-cheques.