Saturday, July 17, 2010

With the World Cup fast becoming a distant memory, we're back with our traditional summer footballing fare on our television screens - Masters football.

As I've mentioned before in the blog, I've been slow to fully appreciate the fun of the whole Masters footie that's filled our summer screens the last few years. Initially I saw it as just tv filler, but as more of the bigger names that you grew up watching come on board every year and the players get younger and even more competitive, it's become something I even look forward to and enjoy in the summer months of football free UK action on our screens now.

There could be some cracking names taking part in it in years to come - if they want to. Who knows we could see Giggsy pulling on a Man United Master jersey at some point in the immediate future. That's if the whole tournament lasts that long.

With a slight delay to the schedule so that it didn't get lost in the World Cup football fest, the 2010 tournament is back on track this weekend with the Northern Masters today and the Northwestern one tomorrow.

But wait a minute there. Wtf? The Northern Masters now includes the three big northeast teams (Sunderland, Newcastle and Middlesborough), along with Carlisle United of all teams and now Celtic and Rangers.

Yup. For this year at least, the Scottish Masters is no more and we're lumped in with "the north".

The crowd today was one of the worst I've seen for a Masters in recent years. Lots of empty seats and little wonder. No matter how keen you are, it's a lot to expect fans to travel from Glasgow to Newcastle to watch what's on display.

There's been a few empty seats at the two Masters so far this year, but nothing like this. Is this a sign that the Masters has had it's day? Are people now getting bored with it? There's certainly been a lack of great star drawing power this year. Maybe it's just needing a revamp but the future could be looking bleak.

That said, I'm still holding out hope that someone will pick up my idea from last year of a Fife Masters. I still feel we could draw the numbers, get a good summer buzz going in Fife and who knows, maybe even revitalise the Masters format itself.

Fingers crossed.

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