English football, sexism and money

This video from England says about itself:

Premier League Boss Richard Scudamore‘s Sexist Emails Left me “Humilated, Belittled and Disgusted”

17 May 2014

Premier League boss Richard Scudamore’s sexist emails left me “humilated, belittled and disgusted” says whistleblower.

The personal assistant who exposed sleazy emails at the Premier League today reveals why she blew the whistle.

By Steven Walker in Britain:

Too much money in English game

Saturday 31st May 2014

Steven Walker looks at the money behind the Premier League and its players representing England in Brazil this summer

When the chief cxecutive of the English Premier League Richard Scudamore keeps his job after email leaks revealed deeply unpleasant sexist remarks weeks before the World Cup, it shows how far the integrity of English football has sunk.

It makes the FA policy statements about sexism, racism and inclusion look like meaningless platitudes. And what kind of message does it send out to women’s football which is trying to develop the game and encourage young women to participate?

The football game in England is just another institution which is full of sordid allegations of bungs, drug cheating, prejudice, discrimination, murky finance and extraordinary wealth.

Far from being “the beautiful game” it is another example of a sport with humble origins in working-class culture that has become another vehicle for capitalist exploitation and corruption.

Over recent years there have been revelations about the obscene levels of wages among Premier League players, clubs being bought and sold by billionaires, controversies about racist abuse on the pitch and neo fascist groups like the BNP recruiting outside football grounds and the latest evidence of a police cover-up over the Hillsborough disaster.

This is the less glamorous backdrop to the England squad as they try to represent their country in Brazil.

In a way it is a Premier League squad so it’s worth looking at the Premier League to check out their credentials for assuming the trust of ordinary fans.

The Premier League is really a money-making machine, using the loyalty and passion of football fans to make massive profits. It is one of the wealthiest leagues in the world with an annual income this year predicted to be over £3 billion.

The Premier League has the highest revenue of any football league in the world and is the second most profitable after the German Bundesliga.

Most money comes via television rights sold to broadcasters with deep pockets.

Sky (part of the Rupert Murdoch media empire) had monopoly control of Premier League broadcasts until 2006 when Setanta Sport was awarded rights to show two out of the six packages of matches available.

This occurred following accusations that the arrangement amounted to a cartel and an insistence by the European Commission that exclusive rights should not be sold to one television company.

The tax payer-funded BBC pays nearly £200 million to show highlights once matches end, while overseas television rights fetch over £500,000.

Advertising and sponsorship income averages around £5m per club. This all provides Premier League clubs an average media income from league games of around £50m-a-year.

Murdoch’s media empire has a stranglehold over football. The Premier League is broadcast to over 600 million people in over 200 countries worldwide, often on networks owned and/or controlled by 21st Century Fox (which owns about 40 per cent of BSkyB in Britain).

In the United States, coverage for most of the 2000s and early 2010s was shared between Fox subsidiaries which are also owned by Murdoch‘s News Corporation and ESPN, with Fox Deportes and ESPN Deportes holding Spanish language rights.

Most fans are shocked by the huge wages paid to players.

The Guardian‘s annual report of Premier League clubs’ finances shows they spent £1.6bn on wages in 2011-12.

That figure does not include money paid to agents, which was an additional £77m between October 2011 and September 2012.

Agents are the shady characters who operate out of public sight, are unaccountable and have immense power to influence the game.

Club chief executives can expect to earn over £2m. Meanwhile other employees, in catering, shop work and other contracted-out jobs can still be paid the minimum wage.

In 2008 a survey by the Fair Pay Network, a body which includes trade union representatives, found Premier League clubs were paying cleaners, programme sellers and warehouse staff £5.52 per hour and even the Mayor of London Boris Johnson urged London clubs to pay a living wage.

In a stark illustration of the fundamental inequalities at the heart of the Premier League’s capitalist economy, Citizens UK, a civic alliance of more than 350 community organisations, calculates that it would take a full-time cleaner at a Premier League Club 13 years to earn what top players make in a week.

In a hard-hitting report published late last year, the alliance calls for clubs to sign up to its Living Wage campaign, under which employers promise to pay workers outside London an hourly rate of £7.65 and those in the capital £8.80.

Two years ago the ultimate obscenity in the football game was revealed when Wonga, the controversial payday loan company and source of misery for poor families trapped in spiralling debt, was criticised by several supporters groups for advertising at football grounds and for sponsoring two lower league clubs.

Televised matches are punctuated ad nauseam during half-time breaks with betting companies and on line casinos exploiting fans, passion and preying on the poor desperately trying to make ends meet.

Nothing could illustrate better the sordid nature of modern football.

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3 thoughts on “English football, sexism and money

  1. Pingback: British football costs more and more | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Tokyo Olympics and Fukushima nuclear disaster | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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