His Thoughts: Media in Football

Sunday, September 20, 2009 by Dr3

Manchester United won the Manchester derby very controversially as the referee added extra minutes to 'extra time' to allow Manchester to squeeze out a dubious victory. 'Watch-checking' Ferguson, for the umpteenth time wasn't checking his watch when the pendulum swung his way; yes I’m saying it, he's a damn hypocrite and I smell politics.
What are the headlines though? No headlines mention the ref....nor are there any articles about the wronged coach's feelings about being cheated and bullied by the 'superpower'.
No, there are no white flags about scandal and no conspiracy theories. Instead the media push the fact that it was 'yet another' scintillating match, which showcased the supposed 'best league in the world' at its best.

America is a developing country as far as football knowledge and fanaticism is concerned. What is the impression that they get of, for instance the Serie A?

Answer: A league where scandal and simply put cheating is ubiquitous. Where coaches complain, players dive and referees again, just CHEAT.

Why do they get this impression?

Is it that the Calcio is really so overrun by corruption and scandal?
As much as I would like to put it squarely on the Italian media, it is them coupled with the English media that leads to this second hand and misguided impression being spread like the plague. Even beyond the ignorance of the 'Americans', there's the ignorance of the casual football fan. All they have to do is put their TV on for one weekend or go to soccernet.com once, and I can guarantee a host of clich├ęd not to mention archaic and unfounded positions of the EPL being the best, and the Serie A being defensive, and La Liga just being technical with no strength etc etc.

Cristiano Ronaldo left the premiership; he was widely considered tied best with Leo Messi if not the best player in the world for the last 2 or 3 years. He has gone to La Liga and all of a sudden, guess what? ROONEY is the best player in the world; according to English pundits. Now as much as it is delusional and ludicrous, it is also admirable; in that, the English stand behind their players. They hail their performances, and use any opportunity to highlight the progression of their unbalanced league (if you haven't guessed it by now, I STRENUOUSLY disagree with the English league being the best league).
They talk about La Liga being a two horse race, and Calcio being on decline (with Calciopoli and all), and then shovel this 'best league' talk, to anyone who has ears (quick side conspiracy: have you realized the dominance in the Champion's League by the English was coupled with the very same Calciopoli scandal?..nobody noticed?...wonder why?).

My point: The responsibility of the media should be beyond just stirring controversy. They are responsible for advertising and showcasing globally the brand of football in their respective countries. Maybe it’s because I don't speak Spanish that I don’t hear about them, but for some reason Italians speak clear English into my ears; helping spread the same fecal matter by highlighting only negatives (minus Diego who is the only shining light apparently), week in week out. Cultural? Maybe, but more so just bad business sense, and a backward mentality of everyone being an island (I can do the ref's job better than him, I can do the coaches job better than him, I can play better than Zlatan).

Calcio media do not attempt to advertise the high points nor showcase the talent that is ever present on a WEEKLY basis. Instead they keep interviewing Mourinho, and talking about referee bias, and conspiracy theories. Meanwhile mother England shovel this 'best league' moniker with no one stopping them; like stealing candy from a baby.

credit to www.dailymail.co.uk for picture

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Anonymous said...

This is an interesting point of view. However the English media cannot be blamed for the fall from grace of Italian football. Firstly I would just like to make a few points.
Italian football has always been corrupt. There were two incidents of betting/match fixing scandals in Italian football in the 1980’s known as Totonero 1980 and Totonero 1986. These scandals saw Milan, Lazio, Bologna, and Udinese among others being relegated and may players, Paolo Rossi Italy’s 1982 World Cup hero implicated as well. It seems that Italian team owners/players/and Italian in general haven’t learned as exactly 20 years later Calcipoli was revealed. At the risk of being a negative Nelly I predict that there will be another scandal before the beginning of the 2030’s. The paisans of the peninsula cannot help it. It is in their nature.
It is also interesting that you noted that the rise of the Premier league as Europe’s best league occurred at the same time as Calciopoli. I won’t go into whether they were related or mutual exclusive. Maybe you are too young to remember but in the 1980’s Liverpool reached two European cup finals after a period of dominance by English football which saw an English team win six straight finals. The subsequent ban of 5 years of all English teams (6 for Liverpool) after the Heysel stadium disaster saw AC Milan winning two straight European Cups at the end of the decade. This was then followed by a decade of dominance by Italian teams in the revamped Champions League, with Milan and Juventus reaching the finals on multiple occasions and winning a few of them. Italian teams also dominated the Uefa Cup and was unquestionably the best league in the world.
Italian football is the root of its own downfall. Dilapidated stadiums, poor crowd attendance, racism spewed at their own players, and scandals take away from the beauty of its football. The media can’t be blamed, as with the fall of the Italian game came the rise of the Spanish game not the English: “La Liga de Estrella - the league of the stars” was how the Spanish game was known from 2000 to 2004-ish when it was the best league. The English game prospered on its own strength. They bought the majority of the best players, were dominant in Europe and marketed their brand as the best.
If anti-English is your calling, have no fear they won’t be the best forever I predict the rise of La Liga once again, probably in the 2010’s, but Serie A is a long way from catching these two. They have too many advantages including billionaire owners (hence higher wages) in England and favorable tax laws in Spain. Their images also do not need repairing unlike Serie A (a state where English football once was) and the best players in the world are gravitating towards those leagues. Let the football stay beautiful though.

alaldinho said...

Take a read:

Anonymous said...

aye dre like ya startin to get comments man. keep it up

Dr3 said...

alaldinho: ..i think my point was lost both you and 1st mr anonymous. I am too young to remember previous italian scandals, I am however old enough to do a simple compare and contrast. The point i'm making is that every weekend in EVERY league there will be questionable calls, or 50-50 calls that went the way of the 'big team'. However only for ONE league...is this regular occurrence highlighted as a conspiracy theory. it's about the balance that the media should aim to portray. tell the good and the bad..not just bad. in england: man utd win thrilling encounter with a somewhat dubious call
in italy: adriano hands inter contreversial victory in derby

see the difference?

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