As you would have probably seen via social media My Old Man Said picked up the judges award for ‘Best Established Football Blog’ this week at the Football Blog Awards in Manchester at the National Football Museum.
First of all, I’d like to dedicate it to all the MOMS readers and believers out there, and also to our contributors: Shelley Osborne, Tom Nightingale, Chris Kemps, Lewis Rymond, Ashley Bannister, Elliot Sutcliffe, Nick Simmons, Matt Rogers, Erlend Børstein, Kurt Marcus, Charlie Cox and Rowan van Oorschot. All of whom have brought an extra dimension to MOMS.
Judge’s verdict on MOMS
“The quality of the nominated blogs this year was exceptional. My Old Man Said stood out in the Best Established Blog category for their combination of humour, insight, and passion. All that and more in a slickly designed and user-friendly site. The team at My Old Man Said are providing a fantastic resource for Aston Villa fans and this award is deserved recognition for that.”
I initially wasn’t going to enter MOMS into the awards (despite winning the Best New Football Blog in 2012 at the inaugural awards) due to the increasing influence of corporate partners on the awards and them allowing advertising agencies and betting companies to enter the awards masquerading as ‘football blogs’. But the inclusion of additional awards in all the categories to be decided by judges, changed my mind, with football journalists from the Times, Telegraph, Guardian on the judging panel.
When it comes to the public ‘fan choice’ online vote the fact that these companies like Paddy Power have over two million followers combined on Facebook and Twitter means winning an award is simply a matter of deciding to enter (which they have done the last two years).
The ‘Fan Choice’ awards are rarely about the quality of the site’s content, but more to do with having the most social media numbers to gain votes, which blogs get easily if they’re for teams with massive worldwide followings like Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal (which most fan choice award winners were). It drastically undermines the hard work of other blogs that actually craft great content and coverage of the game.
In short, it serves up a grossly unfair awards.
Similarly in MOMS category, the ‘football blog’ Football Fancast, that simply is a front for an advertising agency with a network of 100+ sites, has the online and social media presense to beat any independent football blog in a public vote (predictably they had the shallow victory of winning the ‘Fan Choice’ award).
Also in the Best Established Football Blog category were individual writers – how exactly they are expected to compete in a public vote is baffling.
To be honest, it’s a bit of a farce, as is the fact in MOMS category one nominee was offering entry into a competition for an X-Box if people voted for them and also there was nominee who was working for the category sponsor, which is a bit unethical on face value.
A day before the awards, my increasing unease regarding these factors led to me contacting the awards organisers asking for their thoughts on them. No reply was forthcoming (I still haven’t heard from them, despite winning an award), thus I decided on the morning of the awards not to attend, despite the expense of having paid for train tickets and organising a hotel.
Okay, I would have rather have been picking up the award in Manchester from Sky Sports Kate Riley (and putting across my concerns in the acceptance speech) than finding out about the win while in the milk aisle in Morrisons supermarket, but principles are principles. . More about the awards to come.
We’ll accept the win though and recognition for our efforts from the judging panel is appreciated, plus being a Villa fan, wins have been few and far between in recent times. So we embrace this one! UTV
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