Have Sky Cost Us The Europa League? by Dan Smith
Going to Napoli will be hard enough without having to play at Watford on the Monday before, just days previously. If we get past the Italians, we will face the same problem in the semi-final (if we get there) when we go to Leicester on a Monday Night before the first leg that Thursday.
When organising their schedules, Sky must have known that there was a possibility we be in the latter stages of the Europa League yet still decided not to instead put us on Super Sunday. The consensus has to be they simply don’t care. I see it from the TV companies’ point of view. They are paying billions for the right to broadcast content, why should they be dictated to? Yet it be nice for the Premiership to at least ask, that’s assuming they care about English clubs doing well in Europe?
Foreign coaches have often spoke how our country is in the minority about helping their own. Portuguese clubs will deliberately be allowed to play on a Friday if they have a Champions League Night midweek. France recently changed their fixtures to help Rennes as much as possible prepare for their match with us. You would think the Premier League and Sky have people in charge with enough common sense to find a compromise? Surely it helps the brand the more successful English sides are in Europe? Surely Sky want their viewers to see the strongest possible Arsenal? While I have never agreed that players need rest and can’t play every few days, all competitions should be as fair as possible.
Unai Emery will have to balance his squad but there’s no way he will choose one over the other. Does he field 2 different elevens? Does he gamble/sacrifice a loss at Watford if it means we go to Italy fresh? Even if we find ourselves on track to finish in the top 4, he won’t turn his back on a trophy. He might feel obliged just to go for it and accept playing Monday – Thursday. Not that he should be put in this position in the first place.
Is this taking profit over