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A stream of consciousness

Tuesday, 30th of July 2013

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Summer sports forced to Bale out

We’ve had Wimbledon, the Tour de France and the start of the Ashes series as football has had to take an uncharacteristic back seat on the sporting stage this summer.

With no major championship being played – and the less said about the efforts of England’s Under-21s, Under-20s and women’s team the better – there has been a genuine ‘off season’ for the national game.

But with the start of the Football League season only days away, normal service is being restored and the back pages are being cleared for the daily diet of soccer scoops.

It is the League’s 125th anniversary and with the Premier League not kicking off until a fortnight later, the Championship and Leagues One and Two have a welcome chance to grab a share of the limelight.

They deserve their moment of glory, but even without kicking a ball the Premier League won’t give up its market share of the audience readily.

And when it comes to media coverage, it will be the top flight that continues to grab the headlines.

The Premier League is a powerful beast that shows no sign of losing its bite, with a recently agreed television deal bringing further riches for the leading clubs.

Money makes the game go round, although it appears even the vast coffers of Tottenham Hotspur may not be enough to withstand the advances of Real Madrid and a possible world record bid for Gareth Bale.

Madrid may have to pay more than the £80million they splashed out on Cristiano Ronaldo in 2009 to land Bale – 34 years on from the first £1million transfer in British football.

Having bubbled under for weeks, the story has gathered pace over recent days and, as much as the weekend’s opening fixtures, has all but signalled the start of the season.

Football is back and, it appears, bigger than ever.

Pete

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