Radiohead to sponsor final Premier League weekend

With excitement over this season’s final round of fixtures looking to be at an all-time low, Radiohead have announced they will be sponsoring coverage of all games broadcast on May 23rd, 2021.

Man City have already won the league, all the relegation spots are decided, Chelsea and Liverpool are bound to end up in the top 4, meaning the only point of interest will be who finishes 7th. And let’s be honest, nobody really cares.

“It’s time to get OK Computer back in the public eye,” said front man Thom Yorke. “What better time to do it than on the final weekend of the season when everyone’s just tuning in because it’s Sunday afternoon and there’s nothing better on the TV?”

Super League Surprise

I don’t believe anyone complaining about the European Super League is naïve enough not to believe that football’s all about the money. For as long as there has been chairmen to extract profits from clubs, football has been about the money. The Premier League emerged from the era that housed Ken Bates’s electric fences, Thatcher’s persecution of the poor, and Alan Sugar’s desire to sell more Amstrad Satellite dishes. Treating the fans like dirt whilst happily accepting their coin has been the Modus Operandi for the people at the top of the game since time immemorial. The idea that the Premier League was simply a “rebranding” because of football’s bad 80’s vibe is laughable.

So what’s different this time? The transformation of the top flight from “glitzy repackaged Division 1 games featuring Ronny Rosenthal” to “money-making powerhouse featuring all your favourite stars and Nicolas Pepe” was not instantaneous. It was a gradual gentrification, a country and a culture so intrinsically mistrustful of foreigners, slow to change its inward-looking ways. It wasn’t until the ’94-’95 season that we saw more than one foreign import in the top 20 most expensive transfers[1], according to data from Whilst there were many dissenting voices about the formation of the Premier League at the time – perhaps most notably Alex Ferguson, which has been mentioned elsewhere today – it was not a root and branch destruction of the very core of its being. All about the money, yes, a repackaging, yes, but it’s essence was the same.

What the gradual change has allowed to happen is a strange communal cognitive dissonance, in that because things didn’t change an awful lot when we went from point A to point B in 1992, and then things didn’t change that much when we went from point B to point C, and so on ad infinitum, we’ve been able to convince ourselves that relentless extraction of money that football became wasn’t that bad, because the change from what it originally was so slow. And now, worrying that they won’t have access to neighbouring wells to run dry at some point in the near future, the breakaway clubs have decided that they can create a new, safe, endless well of money that will secure the wallets of their owners for all time.

It was inevitable from the day Alan Sugar informed BSkyB of the value of ITV’s bid for the inaugural Premier League TV rights, and told them to “blow [ITV] out of the water.” It’s all about the money. It always has been, and it always will be, and the fans can go whistle. It’s the natural culmination of a sport that’s become obsessed with money above all else, and the most surprising thing is how surprised people seem to by this absolute “revelation”, which was really something everybody knew all along.

[1] Cantona from Leeds to Man Utd isn’t counted as an import