I was never really sporty but I am married to and avid sports fan. I admit that it hasn’t been easy over the years. Those who know avid sports fans, know that they are so committed to their sports and teams it is a waste of time to try and get their attention during games. Over the years I have learnt not to sweat it but to let him be and in time it has worked out ok.
Early this morning, he bookmarks The Premier League: The Night. I thought to myself….really??? It’s early morning dude. Anyway, since I have to give room I kept quiet and sat down to do my stuff. Lol…..I was soon watching the program with rapt attention, maybe more than he did.
As we watched, he made an interesting comment, “The Kenya Premier League today, is where the English Premier League was 20 years ago.” This comment caught my attention and had me watching for dear life. Yes, I know that it sounds strange that one statement can make such great impact. It got me thinking that there could be lessons we are missing in our general interaction in life.
So here is a brief for the non soccer fans. For 100 years soccer had seemed to be a game of the poor, the Football Association wasn’t able to keep the clubs happy, the clubs felt they needed greater income and there was a desire to grow the presence of the league. The first change was a TV deal with ITV that changed the fortunes of the largest 5 clubs commonly called “The Big Five.” Their income moved from 25,000 pounds to 750,000 pounds. The next phase was precipitated by a tragedy in a stadium that killed 90 people.
I won’t go into the details here but there was a push to change better management of the sport. The government provided grants, the clubs pooled funds but the major revenue source was the TV deals. All the while, some dreamers were seeking the formation of a special league for the top clubs. As expected there were objections to the move because it proposed such a drastic change. The major contention was that “It had been that way for 100 years.” So I ask, is that really a reason to leave things as they are because they have been that way for so long?
You see, they wanted to set up a high end league…suddenly today it struck me!!!! It was like setting up business class, club world, first class, premier world……top of the range. Would that be offensive? Of course. Would it be beneficial?
In the light of this, I find some real lessons here:
1. Somebody got tired, desired more and begun seeking another option
2. Someone put in the work to research, negotiate, plan, and keep moving to the possible option
3. It took time (two years in this instance) to develop and refine the plan
4. Somebody created a dream, shared it and inspired others to believe
5. Somebody questioned the status quo
This effort really bore fruit for the English Premier League as follows:
1. Increased income: initial income 25,000 pounds; tv deals brought 750,000; Premier League worth 1.7billion pounds
2. Initially English players played overseas, now the drain is into England
3. The league is now the Richest, most international most powerful league in the world
Let’s bring this home now…..
1. What is holding us back as individuals, businesses and a nation?
2. Do we need to harness out discontent?
3. Who can we join hands with to achieve our dream?
I am not there yet so let’s walk together and keep each other accountable to reach our dreams and attain our goals.
Lessons from watching The Premier League: The Night on Discovery.