locked and loaded

After four months of on/off negotiations, finally National Football League fans can all breathe a sigh of relief – the season will start as planned in September.

For those of you not following events across the Atlantic, “America’s game” was plunged into chaos with a lockout as players and owners fought it out over a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) which principally splits the revenue from the league between the two parties.

With a contract finally reached (and the owners can claim victory with a 53:47 split) the truncated pre-season can finally get underway which will come as a huge relief to players who had been reduced to organising their own practice sessions at high school facilities (sounds more like something out of a Disney film!)

It also seems that the lockout has only heightened the excitement for both fans (Smart phone NFL application downloads have increased 143% and ESPN’s NFL Access has doubled its viewing figures over the summer) and owners alike, with trades and free agency moves happening at record speed as teams try to conduct their usual six months of business in the few weeks that remain before the season kicks off.

So could we see a similar scenario happening in the Premier League in the future? Well with three of the protagonists from the NFL lockout also heavily involved in English PL clubs; Malcolm Glazer (Tampa/Manchester United), Randy Lerner (Cleveland/Aston Villa) and Stan Kroenke (St Louis/Arsenal), along with continued American investment interest in the EPL, do not rule it out.

By Conan Jal