“We can see you leaving…”

If only they had their own Tony Montana – how different things could have been: setanta


“You short a couple’a mil I go on the street for you… make a couple’a moves, a mil here a mil there… you got it!


Setanta have lost their right to show Premier League football. The £10m they needed to scrape together to keep their head above the prime time precipice was clearly too much.

But honestly. Who cares?

ESPN, the American sports network, has won the rights to show what would have been Setanta’s live matches. And the US giant, owned by Disney, obviously sees the benefit in broadcasting our beautiful game to the wider world.

It seems quite ironic that a company owned by Disney will be showing the Premier League, because ever since Setanta started showing football they had their own version of Mickey Mouse and Goofy with Tim Sherwood and Steve McManaman providing their own unique brand of analysis.

We shall not miss them.

The only downside to this situation is that Sky Sports have not retained the rights to broadcast the remainder of the matches. God knows what ESPN will do with their right to show the games and who knows where we can see them.

One of the most annoying things about football on Setanta, and I dare say it will be the same with ESPN, is the fact that you have to shop around to find a pub which is showing the game. More to the point, you have to change destinations depending on what time and which day a game will be shown.

“You watching the game on Saturday mate?”

“Yeah ‘course, wouldn’t miss it for the world”

“You going down the Red Lion as usual?”

“Nah mate,  its a quarter past five kick-off and they don’t have Setanta”

“So where you watching the game?”

We’ll have to go down The Crown!”

And invariably ‘The Crown’, or whatever pub it is in your area, is the only wateringhole in a five mile radius which has Setanta. Therefore not only are you watching the game through a mob of people, getting to the bar and enjoying a drink whilst the game is on is near impossible.

Take Manchester for example, if you want (or wanted as the case may be) to watch a football match on Setanta in the city centre, you are confined to two pubs, the Sawyers Arms and the Hogs Head, directly adjacent to each other and if you get there five minutes shy of kick-off the doors are already closed because it is too full.

As much as we decry the self promoting, sycophantic duet of Andy Gray and Martin Tyler every time our team is playing on Sky Sports 1, we all love the none-sense, the build-up and the glossiness of the presentation.

No matter what any other provider may want to offer, nothing puts butterflies in your stomach more than hearing Moloko sing “The time is now!” three seconds before the kick-off of your local derby.

Sky Sports has been the spiritual home of the Premier League since the very beginning and nothing and nobody will change that. It is just unfortunate that from now on we will be forever channel hopping and paying a tenner here and tenner there to watch something that most of us feel is our God-given right.


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