Food for thought

Published: Tuesday, 03 October 2017

I love reading newspapers. It’ll be a sad day when a combination of rising costs, new media and a fading interest in traditional methods of delivering news eventually brings about the collapse of this medium.

Let’s not get into how much of what I read I actually believe! That’s another issue entirely, but every now and again a little nugget leaps out.

That happened at the back end of last season. I saw a line in The Telegraph that a PL club in the north of England was exploring the possibility of moving their training HQ south. Seriously. I checked the date - no - it wasn’t April 1st.  I genuinely couldn’t believe what I was reading - but no surprise there eh? No, sorry, I’ve already said I’m not going down that route!

It was something we discussed on beINSPORTS the following weekend. Colleagues thought I’d gone completely mad, but I’d made a few enquiries and sure enough it was true. It wasn’t easy putting a name to the club and I don’t want to compromise good sources by naming it. I never tweet or write something I haven’t checked although I would admit to getting a few predictions wrong! For example, I can’t see Everton finishing in the top 4 this season now! 

But why would this club - (no longer in the PL, that’s all I can say!) want to move their HQ south?

I was told the thinking was that they believed the nearer they were to London the better quality player they could attract. Mad or not?  They had no plans to abandon their city, nor their stadium - and crucially not their supporters - but by taking such a decision would they actually be doing just that?

I can understand the thinking. Of course there are exceptions - the two Manchester clubs do all right - but by and large a lot of the best foreign players want to live near London if they can. It gives the capital city’s clubs a huge advantage.

The subject came up again on Sunday when we came off air. A couple of glasses had been consumed so as you can imagine, the conversation got lively!

Is it a good idea or not? My Evertonian mate was outraged at the thought. But why? How does it adversely affect supporters if the first team ‘group’ work elsewhere? As long as they turn up at the weekend where they’re supposed to be so what? Most of them live way outside the towns or cities they represent anyway. And if the quality of player improves as a result isn’t that a good thing? I’ve got a feeling that it won’t be too long before we’re hearing more on this subject.

Speaking of Everton - you’re making me look a right mug Ronald Koeman! I wish Evertonians would stop  complaining about the tough start they’ve had. They didn’t lay a glove on Burnley at the weekend. Burnley - who’ve beaten Chelsea and drawn with Spurs and Liverpool on the road - before winning at Goodison. It doesn’t get much tougher than that.

No. Right now Koeman and Everton look clueless. After a big summer spend I really thought they’d go well this season. It’s still possible, but it doesn’t look very probable. There’s some good players on the books at Everton, but if they trained nearer London might they have attracted better? Now there’s food for thought......!!