End of Season Excitement
I don’t know whether it is my imagination or not but this season seems even more exciting than usual as we come to the ‘business end’. It won’t surprise people that I follow a lot of football and it seems that drama is unfolding in just about every league and competition that I am interested in.
Taking the Hong Kong Premier League as an example, with only a few games left at this point in time, both the top and the bottom of the division remain actively competitive with neither the Champions nor the team to be relegated 100% certain. This is good for the sport and especially the fans.
The same is true of the English Premier League of which I am of course an avid fan. Whatever happens, 2015/16 will be remembered as a remarkable season. It is getting nail-biting now as Tottenham look to claw back a 5 point deficit from Leicester City with 4 matches remaining. Leicester City was 5,000 to 1 at the start of the season (you could get lower odds on Elvis being found alive!). It must be excruciating for the fans that backed them to win at that price. It’s tight at the bottom too (apart from poor old Villa) with three teams battling to avoid the dreaded (and expensive) drop.
I follow the Championship too because although I am a Liverpool fan, I have a soft spot for Burnley because my Grandad lived there and used to take me and my brother to Turf Moor on a regular basis. Getting promoted from this division is one of the hardest things to do in sport because there are so many good teams competing (there are 24 teams and more of half of them have been in the Premier League). There are two automatic promotion places and one play-off slot. With three games to go Burnley are in the second automatic place on goal difference. It’s getting unbearable now!
In La Liga there are three teams separated by one point at the top; Barcelona, Athletico Madrid and Real Madrid and 2 points separating the bottom four! However this contrasts sharply with Ligue1 in France where PSG are 28 points clear at the top with four games to go (that one’s not quite so exciting – unless you are a PSG fan).
All of these leagues, with the exception of Ligue1, are going ‘down to the wire’. The excitement is building to a crescendo as results come in thick and fast. There are so many crucial matches to look forward to – it’s difficult to keep up and to plan the viewing schedule, particularly with the time difference. And then there are the major Cup Competitions. The Champions League is getting interesting now and my own beloved Liverpool is in the semi-final of the Europa Cup following their astonishing win in the quarter final. What a game that was.
But that is what football is all about, competition, the thrill, the adrenaline, the uncertainty. And that’s why people love it!
When all of the drama of these leagues has concluded and tears of joy and despair have subsided, we have still got the European Championships to look forward to! More Football – Hurray Come on England!
Mark Sutcliffe, CEO
雖然本人是利物浦的球迷，但亦不時留意英冠的賽事。我非常喜歡般尼，皆因以前我爺爺經常帶著我跟哥哥 到摩亞球場 (般尼主場)觀看賽事。英冠強隊林立 (共24支球隊，超過一半曾於英超作賽)，要升班至英超絕對是體壇中最困難的事情之一。英冠每季有3支球隊可升班，當中聯賽榜頭兩位自動升班，而另一名額則必須由第3至6位球隊以附加淘汰賽形式爭逐。現剩餘3場賽事，般尼憑較佳得失球暫時處於第2位置，形勢非常緊湊！
西班牙甲組聯賽方面，榜首3支球隊：巴塞隆拿、馬德里體育會及皇家馬德里只有1分差距，而榜尾4隊之間亦只有2分之差！反之，巴黎聖日耳門則於只剩4輪賽事的法國甲組聯賽中以28分之差遙遙領先 ，相對之下情況沒那麼引人入勝 (除非是巴黎聖日耳門的球迷吧)。