The 2012/13 Premiership season has yet to kick off but it already has its first casualty. It would appear that the game of Fantasy Football may be hitting the skids, with some of the best known versions of this past-time suddenly announcing that they are now free to play – presumably because fewer people want to pay.
It would be nice to think that Fantasy Football’s misfortune is AMNT’s success.Like a well-judged sliding tackle could we have nicked the public’s interest in football prediction and taken it upfield?
The truth is actually more worrying for the inventors of Fantasy Football. The game they originally designed has recently been rendered rather pointless by the Premiership clubs version of the game. Formerly known as the transfer window this game has now closed the gap between fantasy and reality in football so thoroughly that there’s arguably now more fantasy in the real team game than in the one we imagine.
The best thing about the real game is obviously that there’s only one version of each player. Anyone can have a Van Persie in their virtual team as Sir Alex Ferguson and Roberto Mancini know only too well. We’ll find out quite shortly which one of these two gents is a proud owner of a Dutch master and which one will have to make do with the Athena print.
As the pre-season becomes momentarily eclipsed by the arrival of Sports Day (as the UK police term the Olympics), the big question remains – will it be a record year for transfers as some pundits seem to think or will it be a summer of more money swilling around the same league with relatively little going overseas?
We’ll have all the answers in a little over a month’s time. In the meantime here’s some food for thought as you contemplate your pre-season predictions:
- Last summer top-flight clubs spent £485m on players, up 33 per cent on 2010.
- The average cost of a Premier League player jumped to £6.40m, a 16 per cent increase.
- 2011 was the second summer in a row when midfielders cost more on average than strikers
- The typical man in the middle cost £7.42m compared to £6.78m for forwards.
- Spain’s Euro 2012 triumph with no recognised strikers might make them an endangered specie.