As you're sitting at home watching Premier League, spare a thought for the punters who are paying
significant amounts to watch their home team play. How much? Scroll through the prices below to see
the top prices for each category of matches.
Category A matches are usually those versus the big four (although some clubs will expand that to
include local derbies, etc).
Britain and the United States do share a common language, but there are times when words don't
translate so well between both countries. Such is the case yesterday when Arsenal announced a
record $400 million in turnover. That's "turnover" meaning revenue, not number of jobs in and out
of a football club.
Out of the $400 million in revenue, Arsenal announced that they achieved operating profits of over
FC Reading of Pennsylvania has arranged a training academy program with Everton.
Did you know that The Telegraph newspaper has a media player on their site with a selection of
audio and video clips? No, I didn't either. Now I know what happened to The Telegraph's Fantasy
Football Podcast (it turned into a straight video clip featuring Jed Pittman, who looks a lot
younger than what I imagined him looking like).
When we talk about Americans in England, we always mention the same names: Brad Friedel, Marcus
Hahnemann, Clint Dempsey, Carlos Bocanegra, Benny Feilhaber, Randy Lerner, Malcolm Glazer, etc,
etc. But the American invasion isn't just happening on the pitch. Listen closely and you'll hear
plenty more American accents associated with Premier League football.
Reports of Chelsea players considering an exodus from Stamford Bridge now that Mourinho has left
are eye-opening. After all, who do the Chelsea players give their allegiance to (other than the
almighty pound)? Is it Chelsea Football Club or Jose Mourinho?
For the manager to become bigger than the club is dangerous ground for football chairmen.
Chuck Culpepper, the author of a new book entitled "Up Pompey," is interviewed on this week's
episode of the EPL Talk Podcast.
The American author, who has been twice nominated for a Pulitzer Prize award, discusses his
experiences following Portsmouth and what it is about Premier League soccer that so interests him
and fellow Americans.
In April of this year, EPL Talk speculated that Tottenham Hotspur could be Jose Mourinho's next
EPL Talk was derided for the article by Spurs fans who proclaimed "Rubbish" and "Stick with Jol and
do it the Spurs way," and even "Give me Jol anytime, moaner Mourinho is not wanted by Chelsea and
definitely not Tottenham, we are getting there and the five year plan is working well.
BBC Sport is reporting that Avram Grant is set to take over as permanent manager of Chelsea
The current director of football at Chelsea will take Mourinho's position after he departed the
club "by mutual consent." As is often the case when a new manager takes over, he's thrown into the
deep end as Chelsea travel this Sunday to Old Trafford to play Manchester United (11am ET, Fox
Avram Grant, whose name is actually spelled Avraham Grant, was manager of Israel from 2002 to 2006
where he took the country to the brink of qualifying for the 2006 World Cup. Despite being
undefeated in their qualifying (four wins and six draws), Grant lost out to France and Switzerland
who qualified instead.
His record at Israel was played 33, won 14, drawn 13 and lost 6, which was a win percentage of 62.
In shocking news, Jose Mourinho has left Chelsea Football Club "by mutual consent," according to
the club's website.
We all know "by mutual consent" is codeword for getting sacked, and while the most of the
newspapers are reporting that Mourinho walked out of the club, The Times newspaper believes that
it's more likely that Mourinho got the sack after a meeting with Abramovich and his henchmen.
Andriy Shevchenko came under more pressure today as former Republic of Ireland striker Tony
Cascarino proclaimed that the Shevchenko we know and have loved over the years for AC Milan will
not regain his form on the pitch for Chelsea.
I didn't get to watch the Chelsea versus Rosenborg match last night in the Champions League, but I
did watch the highlights.
The sun shines brightly for the Premier League right now. The new season has kicked off without the
plague of TV problems that La Liga has encountered. The play on the pitch, so far, has been
exciting and much better than the slump we saw last Fall. The only negatives thus far have been the
controversial refereeing decisions with teams like Fulham, Liverpool and Chelsea -- to name but a
few -- having key decisions going against them.
This is the 1,000th post on the EPL Talk Blog since it launched on January 2, 2006. That's roughly
50 posts a month for 20 months in a row, which is approximately 1.5 posts per day.
During that time, we've seen a lot. The 2006 World Cup. The improved amount and quality of Premier
League coverage on U.S. TV and broadband. The launch of more soccer podcasts and, of course, some
excellent comments by you, the reader.
As a soccer fan, are you overweight, balding, religious and enjoy playing video games? And do you
have debt in the form of student loans, like riding dirtbikes, remember the 1970s, occasionally
rent a car and are looking for cheaper auto insurance?
According to Fox Soccer Channel, that's the type of viewer you are -- or at least who their
advertisers think you are.
In less than one month, the next round of qualifying matches for the European Championship begins
with England taking on Estonia, Scotland against Ukraine, Ireland against Germany, and the big
match - England away to Russia on the plastic pitch, which could seal the destiny or fate of the
England national team. To whet your appetite for the matches (to be played on October 13 and 17),
here's an interesting find by EPL Talk reader Jeffyhash (aka Unoriginal_name):
I was just reading your post about international matches on CCTV, and it reminded me of something I
found earlier during the qualifying tournament.
Martin Jol has accused English football reports of a conspiracy. Quoted in The Guardian newspaper,
Jol stated that "I feel there are two worlds here in London. There is you guys and then there are
the supporters who read your papers. Although they read your papers they are still backing me and
that's a great feeling."
While Jol would be wise to focus on his team tactics and helping his footballers get much needed
shooting practice, he does have a point about the conspiracy.
In the song "Once In a Lifetime" by the Talking Heads, the words "same as it ever was" are repeated
over and over. After watching another predictable weekend of Premier League football, albeit
entertaining, the likelihood of a club cracking the four horse race seems as remote as ever.
What clubs like Tottenham Hotspur, Everton, Portsmouth and Blackburn Rovers lack is that killer
Just to show how big the EPL is becoming worldwide, travel agents in Malaysia are offering
package tours to watched Premier League matches in England.
Sven Goran Eriksson considers the Premier League the best in the world.
This week's EPL Talk Podcast features an interview with LA Times freelance writer Chuck
Culpepper, author of a new book entitled "Up Pompey" which recounts his experiences following
Portsmouth and their recent escape from relegation.
The return of the Premier League action this Saturday will be quite telling. At precisely 2:15pm ET
(7:15pm GMT), we'll know whether the EPL is one of the most entertaining leagues in the world or
whether it's still a predictable and oftentimes boring four horse race.
After the full-time whistle blows, we'll be able to reflect on a day of action where stronger teams
from "The Other 16" battle against the top four (Everton against Man United, Spurs versus Arsenal,
Portsmouth against Liverpool and, last but not least, Chelsea v Blackburn Rovers).
This week's episode of the EPL Talk Podcast features an exclusive interview with former Premier
League and England referee Graham Poll, author of a new autobiography entitled "Seeing Red."
In the lengthy interview, Poll answers a lot of questions about the proposed rule changes to the
sport, his memories from that historic day at the Dell in 1996 between Southampton and Manchester
United where Fergie had his side change strips at halftime and much more including his most
memorable match he refereed.
Here are more details about Liverpool's new TV channel, LFC.tv, which is scheduled to go live
on September 20. It's frustrating for Liverpool fans in the United States because no one will be
carrying the channel over here. GolTV dropped its coverage of Liverpool TV at the end of last
season. LFC.tv is produced by Setanta Sports but will not be available via Setanta Sports USA.
If you live in the United States and you can't decide whether to choose DirecTV, DISH Network, your
local cable company or ITVN to watch as many soccer matches as possible, the next Premier League
weekend will help answer that question for you.
When the English Premier League returns from the international break on Saturday, September 15,
that Saturday will feature four massive matches:
During an international break, it's an unusual experience watching Euro 2008 qualifiers in the
United States. The most talked about match, England against Israel, isn't even on U.S. television
(it's only available via pay-per-view, so you have a choice between paying $30 to watch it at home,
or pay $20 at the pub).
So, if you instead choose to watch Fox Soccer Channel on Saturday, you get to see three live
matches which are 'B' matches that will be very predictable and won't create much excitement:
Russia v Macedonia, 11am ET
San Marino v Czech Republic, 2pm ET
Iceland v Spain, 4pm ET
Setanta Sports, meanwhile, will be showing 'B' matches also such as:
Malta v Turkey, 4:30pm ET
Serbia v Finland, 6:30pm ET
The only exception from Setanta is the 'A' match between Sweden and Denmark at 2:30pm ET.
Fans and supporter groups outraged that there'll only be one 3pm GMT kickoff on Saturday, October
6th should calm down. What alternative would they prefer? That most of the matches be played on the
Saturday? Then they'll complain that the clubs competing in the UEFA Cup will be too tired to play.
You can't have it both ways.
Presumably in the United States, Setanta Sports will show the Aston Villa against West Ham United
match on that Saturday at 10am ET, while the only other game that Saturday will be Manchester
United against Wigan Athletic at 12:15pm ET on Fox Soccer Channel.
Weekly highlights from Fox Soccer Channel are now available on TivoCast, a relatively new
service for Tivo customers.
Irish musician Sinead O'Connor, of all people, is the latest music artist to record a song for
Fox Soccer Channel, which is now being aired on the channel. The Rising Sound's "Get In The Game"
has been heard for months on the network.
Since the 2006 World Cup, everyone from daily newspapers to amateur broadcasters have jumped on the
soccer/football podcast bandwagon attempting to grab market share and win over listeners with a
Out of the dozens of podcasts available on a regular basis, there are only two that consistently
provide quality content and feature seasoned football pundits.
Author Dougie Brimson is this week's featured guest on the EPL Talk Podcast.
The Guardian describes Brimson as "football aggro's pornographer in chief," but he's better known
by many as the screenwriter of the movie "Green Street Hooligans" starring Elijah Wood about the
rivalry between West Ham United and Millwall hooligans.
Brimson is the author of nearly a dozen books on the topic of hooliganism, both fiction and
At last, fans of Premier League football had an extremely entertaining Saturday to watch on
television. The majority of entertaining matches in the season thus far (the few that have been)
have been on Sundays.
Today was a perfect example of the difference in quality and tactics between Liverpool and Spurs.
Both teams played against sides with woeful defenses.
Another summer transfer window has come and gone. Last August, we were salivating at the prospect
of all of those Italian World Cup heroes coming to play in England for large amounts of dosh. Most
of them were players from Juventus, yes, but we were told there would be an exodus. There
This past transfer window that just concluded had the same hype about it.
Watching Through The Night from Sky Sports, their nightly sport news show, is usually an enjoyable
experience. But Friday night's episode on the final night of the August transfer window was so full
of hype and nonsense that I had a sickly feeling in the pit of my stomach.
The show was on Sky Sports from 11pm to midnight UK time, but was shown slightly tape-delayed (as
it always is) in the US on Fox Soccer Channel from 7-8pm ET.