Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Liverpool to play in Bangkok

Thailand is Liverpool crazy, so locals and expats will be excited to hear that Liverpool will play the Thai national team in Bangkok on 22 July. The game is a follow-up to the club's last trip to Thailand in 2003.

The Premiership title chasers will also take on Singapore four days later as part of a pre-season, friendly tour. 

Pre-season friendlies and tours used to be take place against local teams, maybe involving a crossing to Ireland or, for the lucky ones, an exotic destination in mainland Europe, somewhere like Belgium.

These days however, money talks loudly and the pre-season tour to Asia, Africa, America or other Premiership hungry hotspot is a manditory merchandising and promotions effort for any leading club. Football is a global business and the tour helps build a recognisable brand, vital for reaping the cash.

It was quite an eye-opener to realise, on moving to Thailand, I can watch any top-flight football game on TV, even at 3pm on a Saturday (not legally possible in UK), from the comfort of my chair, glass of Leo in hand, any day of the week. 

Given the sheer consumer market in Asia it is inevitable, then, to see football taking on a global flavour and spreading its appeal. And it isn't just the clubs.

The number of the non-UK pitchside adverts (such as the Emirates offers in Vietnamese) from my beloved Emirates Stadium is a striking testiment to the overseas following and business appeal of Brand EPL - "English Premier League", an acronymn I despise, for me it is THE Premier League.

But this isn't a rant, I really enjoy the hype and prediction of pre-season, I also watching tournaments played abroad but sadly the 'merchandising tour' is the likeable face of the dark side of football, the influx of money. A subject I could write a thesis on...another day.

On the plus side, the FIL can watch Liverpool live, assuming I should be so lucky and manage to get the much sought-after tickets! 

Hmmm, I have a feeling they'll be back soon.

If you're interested in more on the globalization of football, an interesting and far more indepth piece is waiting for you here. And you should also read twofootedtackle, an excellent footie blog.


Keith said...

I also hate the term "EPL". When I first heard it on the tv, I had no idea what they were talking about. What's wrong with the "Premier League" even if it evokes images of Richard Keys and his unusually hair hands.

Chris said...

Appreciate the plug! Always interested in hearing about Premier League clubs playing in their target markets.

Jon said...

Hey Keith, Richard 'one-part-man-three-parts-monkey' Keys is a sporting legend along with Mr Jeff Stelling - don't get that pundits of that quality in Thailand. They are rubbish, typified by Steve McMahon.

Chris, cheers for the comment, not forgotten I'm going to...finally...produce a guest post for you. Am pretty busy right now but should have some time in a couple of weeks, if you're still interested.

Martyn said...

The global flavour of the Premier League is near to saturation point and the criticism often leveled at the PL hierarchy should sometimes be replaced with credit for their efforts in achieving world domination. If Neil Armstrong took his first step on the moon today then I'm sure he would have Ronaldo or the like emblazoned on his back and the golf club replaced with a football.

J said...

Last time Liverpool came to Bangkok, it wasn't sold out, so you should have no problem getting the tickets.

liverpool tickets said...

i liked jonny's life story.

Premiership Tickets said...


liverpool to play in bangkok is the new news but we are listening some other news about liverpool.