So another football season is over and the pampered stars can get some well-deserved R&R on a secluded beach somewhere. Well hold that thought because they all have to report to their clubs next month to start their pre-season tours. (Yes, we thought the season only finished a matter of days ago too).
Of course it’s hard to feel sorry for staff that hold their employers to ransom unless they get pay rises that put them on a weekly wage of £300,000, but you do have to feel a tad sympathetic when you see the itineraries that their commercial departments have put together for them during their downtime – or perhaps this is a perverse form of retribution as the commercial department’s own pay rise negotiations weren’t quite so successful?
And of course we do know that the Premier League attracts global audiences and global sponsors. So it’s not surprising that the legions of Man U fans in China want to see their team play locally.
Nor do we expect the players to fly to these distant locations at the back of the plane.
But still. Asking the Arsenal team to play in tournaments in Sydney, Australia then Beijing, China just seven weeks after winning the FA Cup seems pretty harsh.
The bigger clubs have long travelled long distances pre-season so as to build their fanbases. But what of the newcomers to the league or those with less money to spend? What new stamps might their players expect to get in their passports this summer?
Well the Everton players will get one from Tanzania, as they play a game in Dar-es-Salaam next month. Somewhat ominously the opponents are tbc (‘to be confirmed’) which may not fill the squad with confidence.
Watford’s Commercial Department clearly had a smaller travel budget at their disposal too. The team travels to Woking on the 8th July then AFC Wimbledon on the 15th.
But we were most taken by West Brom whose team of high flyers are zig zagging between Hong Kong, Burton, Walsall and Bristol before touching down again via Slough and Aggborough.