Friday, January 31, 2014

Monday night football - Good or Bad? Discuss...

It's hard to argue that Manchester City v Chelsea is the game of the weekend. Well, you could argue that it's not actually at the weekend.

We have to wait until Monday night for the clash, which won't decide the title, but could give one team a huge psychological advantage - especially if Chelsea manage to win.

But should these games be delayed until the Monday so that everyone can watch them on TV? It's great for the neutral after a boring day at work, and even better for those in the US who get to break up the work day for 90 minutes, but fans going to the game can't be happy.

The atmosphere at night games is usually really good, but travelling to Manchester from London on a Monday probably means taking a day off work, getting home at 2am on the Tuesday, feeling rough after a few beers on the train back. And it's all fine if you've won, or seen a great game. But then there's Sunderland v West Ham getting moved to a Monday night. That's a monster journey to watch an average game - Sunderland fans rarely even fill half the stadium on a Saturday afternoon.

But realistically, the Premier League is a TV league now. The execs don't care about the fans who go to the games, just the ones who are on the sofa, or in a bar. Ticket prices are ridiculous, match day times are constantly shifting and soon enough we'll be having time-outs for adverts.

Yes, the best games are becoming easier to watch for everyone, but the league needs to remember the actual match-day experience. Because a game with no fans in attendance is a real possibility one day - and once the atmosphere goes, so does the Premier League.