Wayne Rooney: Images have emerged of Rooney at a wedding that was taking place in the team hotel last weekend and I think it’s all been blown out of proportion.
Footballers are human beings and have personal lives. He had just helped England beat Scotland the night before and he then has a week until his next game (due to not been involved against Spain). He hadn’t gone for a night out on the town but reportedly was in the team hotel and allegedly with England staff having a drink. Players should be allowed to let their hair down every now and again. We are not robots and would Rooney be the player he is today if he’d changed the way he lives his life completely? Give the guy a break. It’s a non-event for me and a nothing story.
Whole Game Solution: The EFL ended talks over a 100-team, five-division plan on Wednesday. The organisation said the plans would have eased fixture congestion and decreased the number of midweek matches. I personally see no need for any changes to be made anyway.
It is fine the way it is and has worked well since the Premier League started back in 1992.
As a professional footballer, I enjoy night games, under the floodlights, and it has a different atmosphere to that of a 3pm Saturday kick-off.
I also enjoy playing matches much more than training, so I relish the midweek fixtures. The excitement, the buzz, the anticipation, the joy, the drama - all products of playing football in front of thousands of people, something I love doing.
In football talk, a week can be a long time to wait for the next match, with many hours on the training ground, so I much prefer to have a hectic schedule than it all spaced out.
Checkatrade Trophy Fines: It was also announced on Wednesday that 12 clubs have been fined for fielding under-strength teams in the EFL Trophy. My column last week stating the competition isn’t working is now backed up by this week’s announcement. Too many clubs are breaching the rules. The EFL are looking at ways of reducing fixture congestion when as a starting point a quick and simple solution would be to not have the EFL Trophy next season.
Price of Football study: It’s pleasing to see that the average cost of Premier League tickets came down this year and that away tickets were capped at £30 but, but with the amount of television money going into the sport, I think more needs to be done to make the game more affordable. All teams want and need to earn revenue, which I understand, but the fans are key in all of this and clubs need to consider how much they charge carefully. Consideration needs to be given to fans, and to find that it is more expensive at some Championship games than Premier League games is a concern. This needs addressing in the coming seasons to make football more affordable to everyone.
The cost of football shirts is also way too high. I pay nearly £100 for a full child’s kit. Both my children love wearing football kits of different teams, and it’s expensive to keep up, especially when teams bring out new strips every season.