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A Different View

Football is a money game – and it’s worth millions

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Galway County Council cathaoirleach Cllr. Mary Hoade, Paul Molumby Central Bank Director of Currencies, Peter Heffernan CEO Marine Institute and Mayor of Galway City Donal Lyons at the Central Bank's launch in the Marine Institute in Oranmore of a €15 limited edition Silver Proof collector coin to commemorate John Philip Holland [1841 - 1914], the Irish born inventor of the modern submarine.

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

The English Premier League is back in full swing and, with the closure of the transfer window on Monday night, we can now thankfully concentrate on the actual football again as opposed to who might be moving from one club to another for the price of a small nation.

But it’s still hard to get away from the figures – and a recent paper produced by Simon Chadwick, Professor of Sport Business Strategy at Coventry University, brings into focus the astronomical figures that just ricochet around this world.

It is hard to put a figure on what the Premier League is actually worth, but income tax and national insurance contributions alone top £1.3 billion going to the British Government.

And how this has grown on every front – when, for example, BSkyB first upped the ante by buying exclusive broadcasting rights back in 1992, it cost the station £633,000 a game. Today it works out at an astonishing £6.53 million….per match.

That’s before the global rights which, for example, cost NBC $250 million for the US rights for three years.

Writing for The Conversation – a UK website collaboration between editors and academics – Professor Chadwick pointed out that the league is now broadcast in 212 countries with a total audience of almost five billion per season.

But this isn’t just about television – although there are times when you might be forgiven for thinking that the actual paying fans come last on the list of priorities.

Visit Britain estimated that around 900,000 people who came to the UK in 2011 went to a football match – two-fifths of them came specifically to go to a game.

The tourism body further calculated that football visitors spent £706 million, or the equivalent of £785 per fan – which is £200 more than an average visitor to Britain normally spends. In Greater Manchester alone, football contributes upwards of £330 million a year to the local economy.

So it’s not just the clubs themselves that benefit; try booking a hotel in Liverpool or Manchester on the weekend of a big game, for example. It will have comfortably doubled in price from the match-free weekends.

Flights rocket in price as soon as the fixtures are revealed for the year, and the bottom line is that you can comfortably plan to spend at least €750 unless you’re going to fly back and over on the match day itself.

That’s the income side of things – but the outflow of cash is equally phenomenal.

When the Premier League began in 1992, the average weekly salary of a player in England was £1,755.  By 2000, this figure had risen to £11,184. Now, the average Premier League salary is £31,000 per week.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

Sporting rivalry doesn’t have to mean segregated supporters

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Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

Three sporting teams whose boundaries come up to the back door of each other’s patch were all in action at the one venue – two of them against each other – at the weekend.

If it was the Premiership, it wouldn’t – and couldn’t – have happened because there would be carnage either inside or outside the ground . . .or both.

But this was Pearse Stadium and the county senior football championship, an afternoon’s entertainment that might not have been on Sky Sports’ radar, but which was no less crucial for those with a vested interest all the same.

First up, Oughterard were up against their nearest neighbours Killannin for a semi-final place, while the other leg of this local stool saw reigning champions Moycullen successfully put their crown on the line against Tuam Stars.

It goes without saying that the crowd was in the high hundreds or low thousands; this wasn’t Old Trafford or Anfield with 60,000 or 70,000 fans congregating from all corners of the globe, never mind the country.

So it wasn’t Celtic and Rangers or City against United; it was neighbours and families and friends intermingled all in one place, albeit wearing different colours.

And even allowing for the intensity of local rivalries, the ties that bind are infinitely stronger than the boundaries that divide.

Half the Killannin team went to school in Oughterard. The Monaghans, who line out for Oughterard, are sons of Terence who was steeped in Moycullen football before moving parish.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Homework only goes to prove parents haven’t all the answers

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Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

Anyone fortunate enough to be a parent will always remember the moment when their child transitioned from unqualified hero worship to thinking that ma and da, if not quite clowns, at least possessed feet of clay.

And that moment often coincided with the time you could no longer make head nor tail of their homework.

You were grand with addition and subtraction, even multiplication and basic division – but when theorems or algebra or physics or foreign languages came into the equation, suddenly your infallible status took a nosedive straight into the nearest bin.

The consolation is that we are not alone – because most parents admit they’ve forgotten even the basics from their schooldays, leaving them cruelly exposed when the teenagers come looking for help.

A recent UK survey asked 1,500 parents aged over 30 what they had forgotten from their schooldays.

Top of the list was algebra – forgotten by half of them – followed by trigonometry and Pythagoras’s Theorem. About a third of respondents could no longer remember how to do long division – or name ten or more elements from the periodic table.

A quarter didn’t know the difference between an isosceles and a scalene triangle, and almost a fifth had forgotten how to use a protractor. Most of those probably thought a compass was for pricking the back of the student sitting in front of you.

Other classroom classics now lost in the sands of time included a failure to recognise cloud formations, identifying an oxbow lake, remembering quotes from Shakespeare, or explaining the difference between volts and amps.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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Connacht Tribune

Everybody knows a Dave – but it still don’t make a storm

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Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

It’s been a tough week for Ireland’s Daves and Davids – ever since we found out just how close we were to having our own storm, only to have it snatched away from us by a public vote that inexplicably went for Dudley instead.

It doesn’t matter than Dudley hardly even sounds like a gust of wind, let alone a gale force storm; it just conjures up an image of a drunken Dudley Moore in Arthur, meandering all over the place – more of a danger to himself than the roof of your house is.

The only consolation is that, if it wasn’t Dudley, it still wouldn’t have been Dave – because in compiling the shortlist, our own Queen of the Weather Forecast, Evelyn Cusack, made a stronger case for Storm Diarmuid, ahead of Dave, David and even Dafydd.

The Brits were keen on Storm Dave, but part of the reason that there is an annual debate among the Met Offices is to ensure a disparate selection, with something for each of the participating nationalities.

That’s why we got Barra, Pól, Seán and Méabh, and the Welsh got Arwen and possibly Gladys, and the Dutch got Vergil and Willemien, with a couple of crossover names like Jack and Kim and Ruby in there for good measure.

But when it came to Storm D, our Met Éireann boss wouldn’t even entertain Dermot as a compromise over Diarmuid, according to the correspondence on this year’s storm-naming process, as revealed under Freedom of Information this week.

Ultimately, it didn’t matter in the end because the people decided anyway. They were given a choice of Duncan, Dudley and Dafydd. . .and Dudley was the winner, perhaps – the commentators think – because of Dudley Dursley, erstwhile star of Harry Potter. As opposed to Dudley Moore.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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