Harty on the Albion, televised football and Rebels v Whitehawk

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WHEN Spurs took on Nottingham Forest in the first-ever live league game in October, 1983, did anyone really comprehend how TV would change the way of football?

Albion’s up-coming 5th round FA Cup visit to Liverpool is a case in point.

A 4.30pm kick off on Sunday, to accommodate live coverage on ESPN is a disappointment in some ways, because I believe it makes it very difficult for some fans to make the long journey, with a potential after-midnight return home and all supporters under-16 due at school the following day.

But then again, the Albion under the terms of their entry to the competition have to play when they’re told, and for a club who not that long ago faced extinction, they now find themselves in a game worth potentially £1million.

Sources very close to the club inform me that with a near full house at Anfield and the TV revenue, the club would look to bank £800,000 from the day, if they were to win, and don’t rule it out as they’ve done it before in 1983, then with the prize money that would take the revenue into seven figures (As would a draw because again a replay would generate at least another £250,000 for the Albion).

The bottom line is, unfortunately, sometimes it’s about that, the bottom line on the balance sheet, more than the fans, but that’s what football has evolved into under the influence of TV, but then again, would we at the Albion have anything like the Amex without how football is today?

With the Albion away at Leeds United, a healthy attendance is expected at East Brighton Park on Saturday when Whitehawk entertain Worthing in an intriguing Ryman League fixture.

Both clubs have promotion ambitions and credentials, but that’s probably where the similarities end, as Worthing, under Chris White, have cut their cloth accordingly due to the economic climate whilst the Hawks allegedly have one of the biggest budgets in the league.

And that’s not a criticism of Whitehawk, I know the people involved over there, they have the financial clout and the passion for the club and football in general, so it’s not the traditional tale of a club spending what they haven’t got, followed by the inevitable financial melt down.

Having worked inside Worthing FC this season, the board do have the right idea but as any normal football fan (if in fact we are normal), I really wonder what Chris could achieve at Worthing with the same budget available to him?

But do budgets win matches? The answer will be apparent just before 5pm this Saturday.

There’s no doubt that the late Angelo Dundee was indeed part of boxing legend, but did his gamesmanship possibly change the course of boxing history?

When the late, great Sir Henry Cooper knocked Cassius Clay over at the end of the fourth round in their 1963 bout at Wembley, Dundee led the dazed Clay back to the corner which was in clear violation of the rules, he then administered smelling salts, when water was the only permitted stimulant allowed in British boxing rings, before famously noticing a tear in Clay’s glove, which meant they had to be replaced, gaining his fighter valuable recovery time.

Would Cooper’s corner have done the same thing? I can’t answer that, as we all know Clay became Muhammad Ali and went on to conquer boxing, having his title taking away from him for political reasons, and not losing in a bout till some eight years later, but might a Cooper knockout on his record have changed his career path?