It’s not in our style to laud football’s governing bodies, who very often can do better – but you have to call out behaviour when it’s top notch.
Richard Masters is the Premier League CEO and has spoken out following Pep Guardiola’s nonsensical comments which were made after Manchester City’s 2-0 defeat to Spurs at the weekend.
Pep brought up a quote from Richard Scudamore a few years back, in which the former CEO stated it’s healthy for the competition to have different winners – which is common sense and not evidence the title is fixed in our favour!
Masters quotes shut down Pep’s diversion tactics perfectly.
“What Richard was saying was that what you want is the title race and the competition for European places to be close, a vibrant relegation battle and surprises all over the league,” he said, cited in M.E.N.
“It is not specific to any particular club. You can bet on the Premier League providing something which keeps the story going and keeps people’s interest.
“Obviously Liverpool are sitting here today 22 points ahead of the rest of the Premier League, but our television audiences have never been higher.
“People are fascinated with that story probably because they have not won it.
“I remember being asked in the summer if I was concerned that City would go again and win it three times in a row.
“I said I thought it was going to be close – but I was wrong!
“That is the beauty of the Premier League. You can’t even guess what is going to happen for the rest of this season, let alone next.
“We’re entirely neutral on the clubs, what we like is as much competitive edge as possible. The Premier League always delivers something in terms of its narrative.
“The fact that Liverpool are 22 points ahead of their nearest rivals shows what a great side they are. But it’s not just about the top, it’s about the European spots and the rest of the league. There’s always something to keep people excited.”
We think it’s a little strange that last season, when Liverpool collected 97 points and lost just once all season, we were labelled bottlers by the media – but this term – when City have lost six matches by the start of February – the only comments are about a weakened league or the even more misguided ‘it’s all VAR’ shouts.
In all honesty though, the bitterness of our rivals shouldn’t be something that causes us anything but glee.
When Liverpool finished fourth under Jurgen Klopp, every neutral liked the German and his side for the fantastic football they played.
Now he’s their enemy – for one reason: we’re the best.
And long, long may it continue.
It’s up to Guardiola and co. to try and bridge the gap.