If there was one thing the return of the Bunderslegia demonstrated last weekend, it was that playing football in empty stadiums is a bit of a non-event. With the restart of the Premier League slated for June 17th, after witnessing a few rounds of German games, you just know that Sky TV, the Premier League and its member clubs, currently have their respective marketing departments in full think tank mode, thinking of ways to elevate the TV product from appearing like soulless training games to the viewer.
On the My Old Man Said podcast over the past few weeks, we’ve discussed a few attempts at addressing the issue, from cardboard cutouts, robot fans, and recently in episode 105, South Korean sex dolls.
What will be next?
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To be fair, Borussia Mönchengladbach’s recent 13,000 cardboard cutout fans (see below) looked better than they sounded, but alas there’s no real benefit for fans (who paid 19 Euros for the cardboard honour). For TV companies though, it certainly has the potential to improve the aesthetic of what people are watching on their screens.
Although, surfer flags won’t be possible now and the use of those flame throwers at the start of games will look a bit lame now with no crowds.
Will they then attempt to layer on sound, as well to what we watch? As we’ve also discussed on previous podcast episodes, the event of mobile apps being developed to try and create audible supporter interaction, maybe something that is better in theory, than it is likely to be in practice.
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To be fair, the cardboard cut outs of fans at Borussia Monchengladbach’s stadium looked better than it sounded (silent). 13,000 fans paid €19 for a cardboard cutout of themselves to attend, with the money going to charity (after costs?). There was even an away fan section. Would you do it?
Since the recording of the show, the announcement of the Premier League kicking off in June to complete the remainder of the 2019/20 season, which although morally questionable, in terms of Villa’s fate at least, will avoid the nonsense of their destiny being decided by ‘Points Per Game’ formulas, which are also discussed in episode 105.
[Episode 106 has been recorded and will be out soon]
Episode 105 Notes
Premier League Training Begins as Villa Prepare for Summer Football
As Premier League clubs return to training to prepare for the possibility of the commencement of the 2019/20 season, we look at the realities of football in the near future – from ghost stadiums to South Korean sex doll fan replacements.
With the EFL recently announcing that a Points Per Game format – with promotion and relegation – will be undertaken, if the season doesn’t commence, Aston Villa will be concerned that the Premier League will follow a similiar path.
In other Villa-related news, we look at the curious case of former Villa centre-back Jores Okore being accused of match fixing.
In ‘Overrated or Underrated?’ we discuss the Villa ex-player trio of Tommy Johnson, George Boateng and Stewart Downing.
While wrapping up the show is the discovery of a true Villa legend that even My Old Man Said is happy about!
PS: Warning: contains strong language.
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David Michael – @oldmansaid
Dan Rodgers – @avfc_vilr
Chris Budd – @BUDD_music
Editor/Producer – David Michael
Outro music – Phil Marten