Richard Scudamore's Luis Suarez Comments Show Wrong Priorities at Premier League

Max Munton@thisisanfieldLiverpool CorrespondentAugust 14, 2014

FILE - This is a  Tuesday, April 16, 2013 file photo of Richard Scudamore, chief executive of the English Premier League,  as he speaks during an interview at NBC studios in New York. At the expense of women, it's crystal clear why Premier League boss Richard Scudamore is often called the most powerful man in English football. Exchanging smutty, sexist emails with chums, provoking a wave of condemnation when they were published, wasn't enough to force his resignation or get him sacked.  (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, File)
Bebeto Matthews/Associated Press

Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore’s delight to see Luis Suarez leave Liverpool this summer epitomises where the league’s priorities are.

On Thursday, the Court of Arbitration for Sport reduced’s Suarez four-month ban from football for biting to allow him to train with Barcelona, as per BBC Sport, but prior to it Scudamore made a passing jibe at the Barcelona forward.

Speaking at a launch event for the new season, Scudamore said, as per David Hills of The Guardian:

I can’t say I’m sorry to see him go. If you spend your time trying to promote what’s good about the Premier League, you’re always waiting for the next thing to come along...

...Although [the biting incident in the World Cup] didn’t directly involve the Premier League, clearly it reflected on Liverpool as one of our great clubs. And it reflected on us.

He’s done his time here, but I can’t say I’m sorry to see him go. I think it was good business on a number of levels to move Suarez on.

For Scudamore to claim that the PFA Player of the Year and top goalscorer leaving the league to strengthen another seems more than naïve.

In Suarez, the Premier League had a world-class exciting player. He was an advert for the league, and his ability no doubt attracted fans worldwide to watch English football.

Earlier this year, Scudamore had his two cents on Manchester United’s rapid decline, telling Bloomberg:

When your most popular club isn’t doing as well, that costs you interest and audience in some places.

There’s lots of fans around the world who wish Manchester United were winning it again, but you have to balance that off against, generally, we’re in the business of putting on a competition and competition means people can compete.

How can the Premier League be taken seriously when the man who runs it weighs in with biased views such as these?

Worse still though, it is petty matters like these that deflect the attention away from the real issues.

On Thursday afternoon, thousands of football fans from clubs across the country marched on Premier League headquarters in London in protest of expensive ticket prices.

The Premier League is in danger of forcing English football to lose its identity and be swamped by a mixture of sanitised values in favour of making the biggest profit.

Fans turning up every Saturday, singing their hearts out and saving their clubs when greedy ownership issues go pear-shaped is the beating heart of football’s success, but the clubs are leaving the man and woman on the street behind. 

They even have the backing of the German Bundesliga, where many tickets are made cheap to allow a wider audience to enjoy the game and avoid a backlash.

But Scudamore claims he cannot do anything to stop the escalating prices for match-goers, as per BBC Sport:

Whilst I have some influence, there is no way I can get involved in 20 clubs' individual pricing. You can't standardise ticket prices. 

You never hear people talk about West Ham's £1 for children. There is always going to be a group of fans that think ticket prices are too high.

If Scudamore has time to send sexist e-mails and comment on which players he thinks should and should not be playing in the Premier League and how he thinks it is better when Manchester United are doing well, but cannot pull the members of the Premier League together to treat fans like supporters and not customers, maybe he’s not the right man for the job.