The League of Ireland went about introducing summer soccer several seasons ago at this stage and, by and large, it has been a success for the bigger clubs.
In fact, the only time I miss ‘winter’ football is around the Christmas holidays. There was nothing nicer than getting to a game on St. Stephen’s Day and around New Year’s Day when we often spend too much time indoors, doing little but stuffing ourselves endlessly with food.
Football on television in no way, shape or form makes up for getting along to a live game. As a result, I don’t really understand the excitement of the Festive Fixtures and the amount of coverage Sky Sports etc indulge in around this time of year. 2011’s offerings around St. Stephen’s Day were particularly poor with low-scoring games on Tuesday a vast improvement on anything shown 24 hours earlier.
It comes down to the simple fact that there is so much football on television these days that it’s hard to get excited about any fixture and when the big ‘Super Sundays’ do come along, they rarely live up to billing.
I often heard the argument this season that live Airtricity League games every week wasn’t necessarily a good thing for the clubs involved. There was such a difference between the top teams in the Premier Division and the rest that good quality contests were hard to come by and a lot of mediocre football was screened as a consequence.
The same can be said for the Premier League this Christmas. Apart from hard core supporters of the clubs involved, are easily distracted television viewers really going to spend their evenings watching Stoke v Aston Villa or Swansea v QPR?
The TV companies don’t control the fixtures, of course, but let’s not show football for the sake of it. Otherwise, it will continue to lose its magic…