Scudamore open to Olympic lessons
No sooner had the Games finished on Sunday than unfavourable
comparisons were being drawn between footballers and the sportsmen
and women who contributed to Britain’s most successful Olympics for
more than a century.
The debate is also going on within football but, speaking at the
Premier League launch in Manchester, Scudamore was keen to focus on
the similarities between the two.
He said: “The Olympics is the biggest show on earth, you’d have
to be living in a cave not to catch the excitement of it.
“But when have we spent ?9billion on hosting an event in this
country? This is the largest event in the world, and it’s happening
in London, which is one of the most iconic cities in the world. It
was always going to be fantastic.
“But I’m also very proud of what football is and what the
Premier League is, and we’re very well respected around the
“You just knew, as sure as night follows day, that people were
going to be saying, ‘Oh look at those Olympians who’ve gone through
all this training and dedicated themselves to their sport and their
mum and dads have taken them to training, compared to
“So footballers just woke up one morning and were brilliant
professional footballers? They’ve also done the training, done the
hard work, the sport science, who’ve also got fantastic
“We’ve got the parents who’ve taken their kids back and forth.
So, whilst there are differences, there are also huge
The atmosphere of positivity surrounding all aspects of the
Olympics has been seen as the biggest success story to come out of
the fortnight, and that is where Scudamore believes comparisons are
He said: “People love their football in this country, but does
everybody love it? No. It’s easier to unify behind some of the
athletic performances because there isn’t that anti feeling.
Football polarises opinion.
“But fair play to the athletes and the organisers, we can look
at that, we can admire, we can envy bits of it, and we can try to
emulate some of that in our own sport.”
One thing Scudamore has no doubt about is that the Premier
League will continue to capture people’s imaginations around the
world when the 21st season kicks off on Saturday.
He added: “It’ll be back on Saturday, and it will have its
critics, but it will have more people following it, there’ll be
more debate in workplaces on Monday morning, and it’ll be football
“The test will come on a cold February weekend, how many people
are talking about Premier League football and how many people are
talking about one of the more remote medal performances from the
“But the great thing about the Olympics is how it has raised a
lot of people’s hopes and aspirations about sport generally.”
Meanwhile, Manchester United striker Danny Welbeck hit back at
the characterisation of footballers as poor role models compared to
The 21-year-old said: “There’s going to negatives but I think
that’s something you have to deal with in everyday life. I think
the majority of footballers are very well behaved and very