The Devil’s Advocate

The Student News Site of Lodi High School

The Devil’s Advocate

The Devil’s Advocate

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Aubrey Lord is a freshman at Lodi High School. She joined Writing for Publication this year. She was inspired to join this class after her eighth grade teacher told her she would be a perfect candidate...

Sasha Rudnytsky
Sasha Rudnytsky
Newspaper Editor

Sasha Rudnytsky is a junior at Lodi High School and is Editor-in-Chief for the newspaper. Although mainly focusing on work with the newspaper, she has been featured in different broadcast segments. Sasha...

Harrison Keyeski is currently a freshman at LHS. He joined Writing for Publication at the beginning of the school year. He has appeared several times in the broadcast and has written multiple scripts....

Natalie Kieffer is a freshman at Lodi High School. She is currently taking the Writing for Publication class because she has always had the dream of one day getting a job in journalism. Natalie is involved...

From Fans to Fields: The Impact of the Premier League on Soccer

Exploring How the World’s Top Soccer League Shapes the Sport and Its Global Audience
jpellgen of Creative Commons
Premier League trophy

Have you ever wanted to watch pro-level football other than the World Cup? Well, the Premier League is what you are looking for with its range of 20 clubs. Considering that this is a world-class league, many of the clubs have top-rated players such as Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur), Erling Haaland (Manchester City), Mohamed Salah (Liverpool), and Martin Odegaard (Arsenal). 

However, why would they come to this league and not wait for the World Cup every four years or play for another league like the MLS or the Championship League? Almost every game is a sold-out match, and the only leagues above it are La Liga and Serie A. However, compared to when they formed in 1992, this is a significant improvement from 13th in the world to third. Also, much like American football, the Premier League does fantasy teams and drafts. Aside from the history of the Premier League, let’s get into what it is and what it is all about. 

What are the Premier League’s principles? They want to make an extremely competitive league for players to be broadcast across the globe and to make revenue and payments for players. Playing for them and wanting to come to games is more compelling. However, what about the prize money, and how do they make a profit? In this past 2022–23 season, the reward for finishing as Premier League champion is $54.4 million, the second gets $51.7 million; and the third gets $39 million in US dollars. Of course, like all famous people, sports, and companies, they are sponsored by brands like Nike and EA Sports.  

Nevertheless, what else do they do? Currently, they have a “No Room for Racism Action Plan.” They do this to prove that greatness can come from any skin color, ethnicity, or culture. As quoted when explaining why this is important, “If you are not a fan of this diversity, you are not a fan.” So, as they say, “If you see discrimination, challenge it, report it, change it.” They also have something called “Rainbow Laces,” which they do to show support for the LGBTQ+ community. But what do they do? They partnered with Stonewall to encourage LGBTQ+ among kids and young people. They do it via education through Premier League Primary Stars, Premier League Kicks, and within Academies. They also have Rainbow Laces pitch flags, ball plinths, handshake boards, and substitute boards for two weeks. There were also rainbow captain’s armbands and rainbow laces. LED boards at the stadiums highlighted Rainbow Laces, and their social media channels featured a Rainbow Premier League logo to promote the campaign.

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While the Premier League often projects an image of grand play and success, some insiders express concern over its direction. James Henaghan, a coach with experience in the United States and the United Kingdom, offered a candid assessment. “The Premier League has become excessively driven by money, which has compromised the integrity of the sport and lessened the importance of fans,” he stated. However, Henaghan’s critique is tempered by his admiration for the league’s ability to showcase exceptional talents, such as Manchester City’s Erling Haaland, whom he describes as “an evil Viking,” alluding to Haaland’s fierce playing style and formidable presence on the pitch. “For his size, he possesses remarkable stamina,” Henaghan observed, suggesting that young players can learn much from Haaland’s endurance and physical skills. 

Even though this is an English League, we still have premier fans in Lodi. One is Junior Kyle Hoffman, a 56s player who also plays for Lodi. Kyle Hoffman’s passion for Chelsea is as enormous as the team’s blue sea-like colors; his support for the team is unwavering. Nevertheless, his love for football extends beyond the confines of Stamford Bridge. “I am a big Chelsea fan. But I watch all the games really that I can watch. But, mainly, I try to go for Chelsea, big fan of watching Wolverhampton,” Hoffman confesses, highlighting his love for the sport. While his heart belongs to Chelsea, his admiration for goalkeeping talent is not limited to his favorite team. Hoffman has expressed confidence in the skills of David de Gea and Sanchez, noting Chelsea’s flag colors. His ability to appreciate the strengths of players from rival teams, such as Pickford’s excellence and Sanchez’s agility, shows how deeply he cares about soccer and Premier League players.

Ultimately, the Premier League stands out in soccer, with 20 incredible teams and star players like Harry Kane and Erling Haaland. Since it started in 1992, it has jumped from the 13th to the 3rd-best league, showing how much fans love it—every game is packed! The league is not just about soccer; they are serious about making a difference with campaigns like “No Room for Racism” and “Rainbow Laces” to ensure everyone feels welcome. Even here in Lodi, fans like Kyle Hoffman cannot get enough of it, showing that love for the Premier League goes way beyond England.

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About the Contributor
Madeline Deleon
Madeline Deleon is currently a freshman at Lodi High School. It is her second semester with the staff. She works on broadcast, newspaper, and yearbook.