Premier League 2009/10 Season Preview

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Premier League 2009/10 Season Preview

Just a few words to start things off.

Firstly, this will be the last season where all the Premier League games are played in England. Next year, they are proposing full Premier League status games to be organized and played in the United States and further afield.

Secondly, an idea is in the wings for the FA Cup to have it's replays pulled. People have considered, most notably, the issue of fixture buildup and congestion.

The consensus is that early rounds have replays but the semi's and final don't, well, has anyone told them that during the semi's and final, both teams participate on neutral territory, so there is no advantage won or lost from a replay? I think not.

If the F.A entertains this idea, they are doing themselves a great disservice by dismissing the smaller clubs. Without the 'lesser' teams there would no 'bigger' teams. Decent gate receipts and TV money from replays have kept a number of lower league sides afloat.

The only clubs who benefit from no replays are the Champions League/Europa qualifiers. Perhaps some people want to make it even more certain that the monopoly created by the UEFA revenue continues.

Football is the people's game, those involved in the higher echelons of the sport could do well to remember that—from the managers who try to complain about fixture lists to the businessmen of the Premier League who somehow think that giving a certain amount of games/rights to another broadcaster, such as BSKYB, the now doomed Setanta or now ESPN, allows for greater choice. Rubbish!

Slowly but surely, the interest in less prestigious domestic trophies is dying on these shores and being driven by foreign money, be that owners or TV based, so much so, that my colleagues (as insignificant their opinions are) have stressed that they find themselves no longer football fans but simply Evertonians, but hey, what do they know anyway...?

If it must be done, then why not scrap the replays and adopt the system that the lower division team always plays the tie at home if drawn against a team from a higher division?

This guarantees their income and may make for more interesting results. There are literally hundreds of possibilities in the interest of fairness, but that's a discussion for another time so onto the main article!

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