Connect with us

Manchester United News

The League’s Online Hegemony, Nationwide Nike 5-a-side tournament

So some of you may be busy getting all mushy with your Valentine, trust me to spend Feb 14th with my brand new Bose Headphones and a new DirecTV install. Who cares about a day created strategically between New Year’s and Easter to boost consumer spending? Oh the couples in love I guess. Not that I’m bitter, it’s just that I don’t feel there’s a point for having a day created especially for celebrating your love when you can do it pretty much throughout the year on a spontaneous basis. Oh well, that’s my opinion.

Anyway, this may be non-United news but is nonetheless relevant in the context of the Premier League and online content creation.

Most of you may have heard of the Offside — a well visited football blog that’s grown so big that it’s got individual blogs for clubs that reside in every nook and cranny of the world, let alone England.

They just got served a notice to take down the club crest logos used to designate the individual club pages on their site, citing copyright violation. Net Result, a company that has in the past come after this very site — for posting Manchester United fixtures [yes, apparently it’s illegal to post Premier League fixtures on a site without “paying for that right”] — our sister site, Soccerlens and countless other blogs, are at the forefront of this bird brained exercise in anti-goodwill. True, copyright is one thing; there’s good reason why clubs may be concerned about people selling counterfeit merchandise with the clubs crest on it. But requesting blogs to take down club crests is downright ridiculous and shows a clear lack of common sense while going after protection of intellectual property.

The Offside has this to say[read more here]:

While football fans see football crests as a helpful way of identifying football teams, Football Data Co (the Premier League’s licensing arm) sees football crests as a way to make money.

We could understand the legal takedown notice if we were profiteering from club crests by selling counterfeit Arsenal shirts or dodgy Man Utd dog food bowls. But we’re not. We use club crests the way they were originally intended: to identify teams.

And for the Premier League to prevent us doing that is not only comically tyrannical, it’s extremely short-sighted too.

You can read more on this in the following links:

1. The Offside
2. Brian Phillips on the Run of Play
3. Ahmed Bilal on Football Media.

Moving on, most of you might have seen the kid nutmegging Rooney video that’s out on many blogs and news sites. If you haven’t, here you go. But here I can share a bit of a back ground on it thanks to the people who approached me to spread the word. This video is a part of an upcoming Nike commercial that launches a nationwide Nike Five contest for an 5-a-side tournament, dedicated to giving urban footballers a stage to showcase their skills.

The way UK based people can enter it is by signing up via and creating their own profiles, selecting team mates (if I’m not mistaken) and mentioning the area where they live and play. Through March and April there will be 16,000 people competing which, by process of elimination, leads to city finals which in turn lead to a national cup final. So those interested watch this space for updates on it.

Finally, there’s an FA Cup game tomorrow. I will put up a preview for it later in the day and tomorrow, hopefully there’ll be a live blog.




  1. Liam

    14 February 2009 at 19:52

    I don’t get why the PL, in a time of recession are targetting things that will only bring more exposure and revenue to them. I mean if somebody reads up about a club/league on the internet theymay begin to support them and pay for jerseys or buy the tv package. What is the point?

  2. johnsom33

    15 February 2009 at 03:52

    I find it despicable and incredibly shortsided. I guess one could argue that you profit of the clubs name because of ads on your page. But at the same time you are promoting them without cost to them. Its free advertising. So I see it as an even tradeoff. you can use the crest they get free exposure.

  3. johnsom33

    15 February 2009 at 03:53

    Has anyone actually seen Petrucci and Macheda play yet in the reserves? How do they look? Are they anywhere close to level of Wellbeck?

  4. Grognard

    15 February 2009 at 04:09

    The problem here is that the Leagues and the clubs are doing so well, despite a recession that they have lost touch with their fan base. Their greed and protectionism is so ridiculously misplaced that they will never realize that they are slapping the faces of millions of supporters who use these blogs to feel closer to their team. Instead United would prefer you ignore all these blogs and spend time at their completely useless and utterly plastic web site designed to squeeze every penny out of you for just looking at an image or a highlight reel. They disgust me and that is one aspect of the team that I despise. The corporate and marketing machine that works it’s sleaze and tries to seduce us with rubbish.

    I love Red Rants and respect other blogs that try to open up dialog and discussion without trying to service the team or the League’s merchandising ambitions. If it’s up to merchandising and marketing, I say let them starve. Buy your shirt and leave it at that. Club web sites are nothing but an extension of the team’s marketing wing and they never offer us any interesting information nor do they promote dialog that may go in directions they deem to be negative or counter productive to their bottom line……..PROFIT. They can sit on their logos and rotate on them.

  5. JB

    15 February 2009 at 12:45

    @Grognard: To be fair to the club the majority of these clampdowns tend to be driven by the EPL itself.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *