Football Image Rights and Southampton Football Club

Sometimes you read a news story that just makes you smile and think “Bloody brilliant, I wish I’d thought of that”

This is such a story

Its the story of a football club who seem to have forgotten who pays their bills in favour of extracting as much money as possible from every revenue source, even where a revenue source didn’t actually exist in the first place, for this year Southampton Football Club have declared a ban on all professional photographers in favour of just employing their own – the idea being that any news media who wish to publish photographs of their home games then have to purchase said photos from the club.

Sounds like a cracking idea, I’m sure they must have wet their pants at the board meeting when someone first suggested it, “How many photographs of our home games were published last year” the club chairman will have asked, “oooh, hundreds” the man who had suggested the ban would have answered as in truth he didn’t really know, “Excellent” the chairman would have said, “Flog them for a tenner each and thats, ooooh quite a lot of money isn’t it ?”

Except of course that you assume that the media outlets would go along with the idea.

But they are refusing to buy photos from a football club when traditionally they have been able to get a pass to send their own photographer along to take their own photos and use them, for free.

And so we now have the brilliant situation where the Plymouth Herald and the Bournemouth Echo are employing cartoonists to draw exciting moments from the games in Roy of the Rovers stylee, an action that is far more entertaining and informative than a simple washed out or under exposed photo taken from the other end of the field with a lens the size of a small car – cartoons also give the creator the opportunity to draw in comments from the crowd like “oooooh, see that” or “Yeeeeee-sssss, goooooo-al” or “Shit I’ve dropped my pasty”.

Ultimately you can see where this is going, the national newspapers have picked up the story now and are slagging off the football club in a true “We all stand together brothers” newspaper brotherhood style, and it won’t be long before Southampton declare that they’ve had a change of mind and photographers will be allowed back in again – at which point the Plymouth Herald and Bournemouth Echo should tell them to stick their lenses the size of a small car up their arses because their readers prefer the cartoons thank you very much – a full season of cartoons instead of photographs would be excellent and the images could develop into a proper weekly strip with invented footballers turning out for the team or the cartoonist could get a little more inventive every week – draw facial hair on everyone one week for instance, have them turn out in pink frilly shorts another week, the possibilities are endless.

Likewise this should spread to include all football clubs and individual football players for a huge chunk of footballers now earn a huge wedge from “Image Rights” which are often paid into offshore accounts to avoid the paying of UK tax, the Inland Revenue are currently investigating such shady goings-on – I think we have just hit upon a ground-breaking solution to the problem of over-paying football players, simply use cartoons instead, I mean, most of them have cartoons drawn all over their bodies in back street tattoo studios anyway, surely they wouldn’t object to being totally depicted in this way ?

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2 thoughts on “Football Image Rights and Southampton Football Club

  1. I seem to recall back in the day when the FA Premiership was bright and shiny and new, and I was a slightly less bright, less shiny and less new sports editor, the powers that be had the bright idea of charging newspapers to send reporters to games. After all, the TV companies were willing to pay to broadcast their games, surely newspapers would pay to report them?

    That idea lasted about a week, iirc.

    Also reminds me that back in the mid to late ’80s we had the bright idea of taking a cartoonist to the Challenge Cup Final one year, rather than the normal photographer. It was fun watching him wander round the Wembley pitch with his crayons and notepad, surrounded by smudgers with thousands of pounds worth of cameras and lenses …

  2. Cartooning the action is the future, I’m telling you.

    I can see a time when Match of the Day will be stop/motion cartoon like Captain Pugwash

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