Dan Johnson: enemy of Asian football.
Two recent articles below from the Jakarta Globe. The first quotes the EPL's Dan Johnson saying that pre-season tours are good for Asian football. Below that is the rebuttal by Antony Sutton. Mr Sutton is a regular football writer for the Jakarta Globe and has his own SEA football blog HERE
EPL Says Regional Tours Help Develop Asian Game
English football clubs on preseason Asian tours benefit the sport in the region rather than taking the shine off the local scene, the Premier League’s chief spokesman said on Thursday.
“We’re here and we’re adding interest to the game, adding interest to football generally,” Dan Johnson said in Hong Kong, where a trio of top flight English clubs are competing with a local side for the Asia Trophy.
“I think if you can leave a legacy there as well as generating interest in the game, that’ll help develop the game here and we take that very seriously.”
Chelsea, Aston Villa and Blackburn are competing in the Asia Trophy with Hong Kong club Kitchee at Hong Kong Stadium.
Villa beat Blackburn 1-0 in its opening match while Chelsea on Wednesday thumped the locals 4-0.
The four-team event held every two years is in its fifth edition, and is hugely popular in the region. More than two thirds of the 80,000 tickets on offer were snapped up within five days.
Johnson said that despite the Premier League growing globally, Asia remained a key market for the clubs.
“Yes, the Premier League has grown across the globe, and teams are going to America and we’re big in Africa, but I think the passion and the knowledge and the understanding of fans in Hong Kong and the Asia region is still at that level up,” he said.
Johnson’s thoughts were echoed by former Aston Villa player Ian Taylor.
“This is where the most growth is and obviously you can see with the likes of Chelsea, Blackburn, Liverpool and Manchester United all coming over, obviously they see it as a big, big part of their brand management,” he said.
Can we all spot the obvious contradiction? First Johnson spouts the usual guff about helping to develop the local game and leaving a 'legacy' (the most over-used and mis-used word in management-speak today) and in the next breath says that Asia remains a "key market for the [EPL] clubs". How can you possibly have it both ways? You're either helping the local game to develop or you're expanding the reach of EPL clubs. The two are not mutually compatible. Dan Johnson speaks with a forked tongue and is an enemy of Asian football.
Thankfully, Antony Sutton wrote an excellent rebuttal:
EPL Summer Tour Brings Little Good for Host Nations