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April 16, 2011

IPL going the EPL way?

The way IPL is going things are getting very worrisome. The crassness of the entire thing is now frightening. More of that later. The thing that I am interested in whether commercialization helps the development of the sport in the country. Does hosting EPL and IPL and getting famous players to play in the country help the game of Football in England and Cricket in India. EPL is played in England and IPL is played in India. IPL is very new for any type of research.

So I took the case of the English Premier League. The league is so popular that In African Countries people wait for an entire week to see the clash between Manchester United and Arsenal and pay an astronomical amount to watch a live telecast. The league has billions of followers and is very lucrative. But has it benefitted the country that is England where the league is played? The League was started in the year 1992 and check out for yourself the English national team’s performance in all the FIFA football world cups from 1990.

FIFA worlds Cup               England Team performance
1990                                                       4th
1994                                                       DNQ (Did not qualify)
1998                                                       9th
2002                                                       6th
2006                                                       7th
2010                                                       13th
2014                                                       26th
2018                                                       4th

England’s best performance came in the year 1990. That was in the year when there was no Premiership league. England did not even qualify for the 1994 world cup, Finished 9th, 6th, 7th, and 13th in the later world cups. They made it to the pre-quarter-finals on two occasions and quarterfinals in two other. Not very flattering for a country that boasts of the richest football league. In contrast, Brazil does not have a great football league but continues to produce the greatest footballers in the world.

So what did EPL achieve? Lots of money for the clubs, TV channels, and the players. The players have benefited so much all the footballers are any how famous, even their WAGS (wives and girl friends) too are featured in page 3 of major newspapers. But apart from this nothing else has been achieved. The footballers have become more loyal to their clubs than the country that they represent. There are occasions when the players have not been relieved from national duty by the club or have feigned injuries so that they don’t have to attend coaching camps for major national events. 

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