I sat in the National Football Centre with a team from the USA who had completed training. On the giant plasma was Manchester United v Liverpool, live. England’s two most successful teams ever. The American team like others had come here to get a bit of Englishness about them…revel in the pastures of the altar to the country which gave the World the modern game of football. And here before them on a big grid of screens was THE top match, almost like being there. Not all of the players rushed in from the dining-room with their deserts. Some when seated, the match playing away, played with their phones. Here was a team sent to learn and be enthused and they could partially be bothered. Admittedly they attended a live match Aston Villa v Chelsea the Saturday evening which had struck them to the core – and now this during deserts after training, on Sunday, was mere tv.
I understood then, at this moment, what the Premier League has at stake: pole position. Scudamore and those at the Premier League often criticised for power-hungry pursuits have a mission to grab our attention. And make us pay for it to keep the show rolling. If there was a succession of top matches shown from the top Leagues: Major League Soccer, Serie A, Brasileirao, Ligue1, LigaMX, Eredevisie, La Liga, Bundesliga and our English Premier League… god yes I would want OUR English league match to be the one most feted, celebrated, watched, enjoyed, talked about afterwards. I would be a bit heartbroken if it wasn’t.