The Devil Wears Savile Row - Farewell Richard Scudamore
The Devil Wears Savile Row
Farewell Richard Scudamore
So Richard Scudamore has stepped down from his role as “Executive Chairman” of the Premier League. I would bother saying ‘good riddance’ and ‘thanks for helping to ruin the game we all love so much,’ but the horse has already bolted.
He is being replaced by the outgoing global President of Animal Planet, Susanna Dinnage.
Although I would say there were probably less sharks in her last job.
And therein lies the problem.
The Premier League is gearing everything towards TV. They’ve basically given up on grass-roots & traditional game-going fans. Hiring someone whose background is in broadcast media is a tacit admission that football is no longer a game - simply a product to sell back to the fans that built it in the first place.
Those who have grown up in the Sky & FIFA (games) generation won’t understand this difference - or care to be honest. I’m still relatively young (yes millenials - mid-30s is still young) & feel grateful that I can remember a time growing up when football was still about passion.
Richard Scudamore has done well for the Premier League as a business - TV rights have gone up from around £670 million when he took over to over £5 billion in the last deal. The good part, to a certain extent, is that players’ salaries have now gone up to a level where they no longer need to buy a pub when they retire to make sure they have an income once their relatively short playing careers come to an end.
The bad is the irreversible damage turning our passion and support into commerce has done to football culture in this country.
The Sky narrative (which has gone hand in glove with the TV thing) has peddled an ever-more serious tone surrounding the game. Only winning things matters, only the top clubs matter, only “world class” players matter. Moving towards an American stats-driven narrative hasn’t helped either.
The long and the short of it is that it has sucked all of the joy out of the game. Of course this was going to happen when you media train the life out of young footballers, when you reduce the beautiful game to a series of numbers and turn it into a fucking product.
We have sleepwalked into a football dystopia in this country.
TV owns football now. Scudamore has done this. And the clubs that our communities have built are now going to give him £5 million quid as a “present?” No wonder. He made them rich.
Dinnage has been chosen to help with TV growth even further.
The one beautiful irony about her replacing him is that he is a sexist bastard. In a series of leaked emails from 2014 he variously referred to women as “gash” & “irrational.” He also joked about “banging skinny-titted broads” and warned a Premier League lawyer about a female colleague they called Edna “off your shaft.”
Pub talk is one thing - but to think like this as the head of the top division in this country is fucking abhorrent.
So farewell you toady, joy-ruining, shithouser of football and its culture - cheerio.
The Devil wears Savile Row.
J.S. Leatherbarrow - Editor