Paddy Power

PADCAST: Can the Premier League learn from the Olympics?

by Aidan Elder | August 8, 2012

RINGING THE CHANGE – Should football be afforded the Olympian spirit? (pic: Inpho)

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The Olympics are like a drug. Living in Britain this last fortnight, you would think that there’s not only nothing wrong with the country, but the world. We’ve landed on Mars, there are thousands dying in Syria and it’s been lost completely because the Olympics are on. Every four years it seems to dominate more and more. People at the Olympic Park seem to talk about it as this happy, McDonalds’ statelet where everything is fine and that’s seeping out to the rest of the country. We’ve forgotten about the economy, we’ve forgotten about this inept coalition we’ve put in place.

Like so many millions around the world, Rory Smith from The Times is a fan of the Olympics. But, in a piece he wrote for The Anfield Wrap, he questioned the favourable coverage the event is getting in the media, particularly in sharp contrast to the bad reputation that seems to permanently dog footballers.

In this week’s Padcast, he chats to Ciaran O’Raghallaigh about the double-standard and just what needs to change when it comes to football in the media. Why won’t the goodwill and kindness afforded to virtually all the athletes at the Olympic Games not extended to the Premier League’s elite when they return to action in a couple of weeks? Why is there such animosity towards football and what needs to be done to improve the relationship?

The media are fawning over the Olympians. We’re far too belligerent when it comes to our footballers. The insistence on twirling quotes and ramping up transfer stories, it’s completely unnecessary and it doesn’t help the media’s credibility or coverage.

That’s the view of Smith, who without wanting to defend the well-paid professionals, asks some questions about the peculiar double standard.

It’s an interesting discussion, but that’s not all as the Padcast also looks ahead to this weekend’s Community Shield as Manchester City and Chelsea serve up the appetizer for the beginning of the new Premier League season.

Direct suggestions for the show, potential guests and compliments/complaints in the comments section below or to thepadcast@paddypower.com or follow us on twitter @paddypowerblog. We’re also on Facebook. If you’re particularly impressed/angered by the show, feel free to express your satisfaction/abhorrence with your friends using the sharing buttons below. That would be belting.

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