Lord Sugar Tackles Football Review

LORD SUGAR TACKLES FOOTBALL: Sunday 15th May, BBC2, 9pm

Football is in financial dire straits! We need someone to save it. We need someone that loves football, but is also a business expert. A football-loving business expert that doesn’t take any nonsense, doesn’t suffer fools gladly, and isn’t interested in steady Eddies and cautious Carols. We need Sir Alan Sugar!

It’s just as well, because Lord Sugar has already investigated why football finds itself up the financial creek without a paddle and unsurprisingly, he isn’t shy about sharing his sweeping opinions. Talking to members of the footballing fraternity, the angry Ferrero Rocher tries to find out who’s to blame for causing such an economic disaster to the beautiful game. With the dawn of the Premier League in 1992, the chairman of all the clubs in Premier League agreed a television deal with Rupert Murdoch’s BSkyB television for £300 million. With that money rolling in, the spending spiralled out of control.

Now Sky are paying over a billion pounds for TV rights, Premier League games are beamed into more than 500 million homes around the world and Premier League clubs are receiving millions of pounds in ticket sales, TV deals and merchandising, yet how come 14 of the 20 Premier League clubs are in debt? If all this money is coming in, why does the total Premier League debt stand at £3.3 billion, the highest debt of any league in the world?

Lord Alan speaks to those involved in the business of football, including Premier League Chief Executive Richard Scudamore, Wigan Athletic Chairman Dave Whelan, Tottenham Hotspur manager and former player Harry Redknapp and Premier League all-time record goal-scorer Alan Shearer.

The general consensus from all those who talk to Sir Alan say it’s the players’ wages that are to blame. Wage bills have risen to colossal levels and are draining most of the income of the clubs, and the agents, you have to blame them money-hungry sharks for ruining football.

Back in the good old days when Harry Redknapp was a player, he had to get a Saturday job in a supermarket, Alan Shearer had to clean all of the players’ boots, the dressing rooms, the showers and he probably had to pick up litter in the stadium. Now, youth players are driving Bentleys and wearing Rolexes, with players as young as 13-years-old having agents (ruthless, money-grabbing agents).

Concluding his investigation, Lord Sugar comes up with a five-point plan to transform the beautiful game so clubs can become self-sustainable and all the exorbitant wealth and relentless greed that has corrupted the game stamped out. Of course it will never happen, but it’s a nice thought..

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