football

Premier League chiefs warned by furious TV paymasters over covid postponements


Broadcasters were left fuming by the Covid postponements in the Premier League.

Television companies pay hundreds of millions for their live rights and to see games being called off at the last minute while players break strict protocols has caused one hell of a stink.

Sky, BT Sport and Amazon are among the firms in the current £5billion TV deal and executives are understood to have left the Premier League in no doubt about their view.

Clearly, if players contract the virus unintentionally while respecting all the rules then there can be no complaint but the number of high profile cases flaunting the strict protocols has gone down exceptionally badly.

There were three postponements in the week after Christmas with Manchester City’s trip to Everton and also Fulham’s games at Tottenham and Burnley.

But it is not just about those games but players breaking rules as Tottenham trio Giovani Lo Celso, Sergio Reguilon and Erik Lamela having a Christmas get together with West Ham’s Manuel Lanzini and their respective families.



TV companies spend a lot of cash on Premier League rights
TV companies spend a lot of cash on Premier League rights

Manchester City’s Benjamin Mendy apologised after hosting a bash.

Football has been awash with talk of other gatherings and broadcasters will be fuming if further revelations emerge not just because of the commercial damage but the bad look it gives football in these tough times.

Is this finally Zaha’s year?



Zaha has never hidden his desire to fight for trophies

The transfer window could be very quiet this month.

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But there is one player who is still attracting headlines and interest which does beg the question as to whether this could be the year that Wilfried Zaha leaves Crystal Palace.

Zaha, 28, has been involved in a couple of recent transfer sagas involving Everton and Arsenal, this time Paris Saint Germain and Leicester have been looking, especially with Mauricio Pochettino now at the Parc des Princes.

Ivory Coast star Zaha has never hidden his ambition to win trophies, is respectful to Palace but his form suggests that he really is at the peak of his powers, enjoying the best period of his career and it could be an interesting year if a big club tests the water.



Could Wilf Zaha leave this year?
Could Wilf Zaha leave this year?

Palace boss Roy Hodgson has been fulsome in his praise while his statistics this season have been nothing short of remarkable and are catching the eye of big clubs.

In his 15 games so far, Zaha has scored eight goals, provided two assists, had 13 shots on target, created 12 chances and provided 19 key passes into the danger zone.

Zaha has been one of the best entertainers in recent seasons and it has been hard to think of another player who has been such a talisman for one club.

But his starring role for Palace this season may also drive a market in January or in the summer window.

BBC’s local radio crackdown

BBC local radio has a cult following among football fans as they provide commentary from up and down the country.

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But BBC bosses have ordered a crackdown and stopped local stations travelling all over to follow their club for fear of catching the virus and bringing it back to their studios.

BBC Radio Norfolk and Leicester have both posted pictures or posts of them having to stay behind and do commentaries off TV which feels like such a break in Saturday afternoon tradition for hundreds of thousands of fans.

Local radio often also provides commentary for the EFL’s iFollow service so it has a big impact.

Five Live is still travelling the length and breadth of the country for commentaries.

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