Dunfermline Athletic

Opportunity could Knock for PARS TV!

Date: Saturday, 14th Mar 2020

For many years, I watched "live" games involving Dunfermline Athletic ties on "Pars TV" because I was in Malta. It could be a rather surreal experience to be sitting in a villa, with the hot sunshine streaming through the windows and outside a palm tree gently swaying in the wind, as I watched the sleet falling in familiar Stenhousemuir.

It was a bit amateurish in the early days [what ???? - Editor] eg you would hear the commentator loud and clear saying "That`s me off to the toilet" or "that pie was good". Commentators would often forget the Pars Audio Listeners could not see the action so gauging where the ball was became a challenge!

Today it is slick, polished, often has a summariser, action replays and wonderfully biased [ah thats better - Editor] . Once back in Scotland, I could listen to "Pars Audio"or BBC Scotland`s "Sportsound" but, frustratingly, I was no longer allowed to pay to view.

Those days may now be coming to an end, in the light of Nicola Sturgeon`s recommendation that gatherings of 500 and more be banned. That is not because there is is an increased risk, otherwise schools, colleges and Universities would be closing.

Football, after all, is played in the fresh air, but because, as she explained, there is a very real concern over the resilience of the Emergency Services as we move from Coronavirus Phase 1 Contain to Phase 2 Delay.

The Scottish Football Authorities, for years, have abided by UEFA Statute 48 aka the "Blackout Rule" whereby one cannot transmit matches on a Saturday at 3pm nor in competition with a UEFA Champions League match.

In reality only three Football Associations abide by it today.I watched many a "live" match in Malta which broke those rules.Furthermore,it is not unknown for major midweek English Premier League games to be televised "Live" with fines paid as a consequence.(Scotland, in any case,has a pick and mix attitude to UEFA rules and continues to ignore "Strict Liability".)

UEFA sees the statute as protecting the lesser League Clubs though the European
Commission has found little evidence of that benefit.

Therefore, the likes of Pars, Rath TV, Hibs, Hearts TV and all the rest should, arguably, have
been allowed to stream "live" the closed doors matches to fans` iPads and computers, while the ban on pubs and clubs showing the match would have remained in force. Admittedly, It would be a strange experience.For a start we would hear every word the players uttered eg "Gosh, Kevin, jolly bad show. Better luck nexttime. It did look easy,mate"!.

Would the triumphant music have blared out to gee up the crowd (which wouldn`t have been there) when we score?

If you are a novice to finding `ParsTV` with your search engine, you may locate Iranian TV by mistake. A clue:They don`t cover our matches !

The advantage of playing matches behind closed doors would have meant at least some
income from fans subscribing to "live" Pars TV. Now the Football Authorities and Politicians have, frankly, jumped the gun. Health Experts agree that (based on China) the peak is 10 weeks away. Neil Doncaster has gone cap in hand to the Government with clubs asking for their end of season payment paid prematurely.The Chancellor has hinted that HMRC may delay the demand for VAT payments.

As a youngster, in February 1969, I watched, with 12,000 others, our win at WBA on the big screens at East End. I thought a new era had begun. 50 years on, paying to watch the Pars away games "live" from the comfort of your lounge may be the best news yet to stem from this ghastly virus.

SP



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