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Introducing EPL Talk Pro: Your Ticket To Exclusive Soccer Content

Today marks an exciting new chapter in the history of EPL Talk. In 2005, it began as a dream to create a platform where soccer fans around the world could congregate online and share their passion for their favorite sport, league and team with strangers.

That dream came true (in more ways, than one with EPL Talk becoming one of the leading websites for news and analysis of the Premier League worldwide). Now we’re ready to embark on the next stage of EPL Talk.

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to EPL Talk Pro.

Read on to learn more.

Beginning today, readers can subscribe to EPL Talk Pro for a small monthly fee to access exclusive content such as premium videos, audio stories, contests, feature-length articles and more. The subscription gives you insider access to the best quality content regarding the world’s most popular sports league.

Membership has its privileges. Each month, you’ll have exclusive access to:

  • A feature-length audio story covering a deep and fascinating topic (where other sites only scratch the surface),
  • A video documentary from the streets of England,
  • One audio roundtable focused on a polarizing Premier League-related topic,
  • Three to four feature-length articles each month, and
  • A featured audio interview with a major celebrity.

As an example, during the first month of EPL Talk Pro, the feature-length audio story will be a three-part series looking at the surge in interest and coverage of football tactics. The main feature of the interview, created and produced by Richard Farley (host of the EPL Talk Podcast), is an in-depth interview with The Guardian‘s Jonathan Wilson and Zonal Marking’s Michael Cox. The NPR-quality audio series also includes expert insight by Bobby McMahon, Grant Wahl, Andy Brassell, Oliver Kay, Luke Moore (The Football Ramble) and Richard Whittall (A More Splendid Life). The near hour-long series serves as a discussion of how we got here, what the current coverage does and poorly, as well as where this trend takes us.

In the video department, director Laurence McKenna (best known as the co-host of the EPL Talk Podcast) will be releasing an exclusive documentary each month from the heart of England. Laurence, an accomplished director and storyteller, will be your eyes and ears on the streets of England. There he’ll capture remarkable stories on film that the British TV networks typically skim over, the type of stories that get to what is the soul of football. McKenna is already hard at work getting the first episode ready. To see a glimpse of his work, watch his interviews with Henry Winter, Patrick Barclay and Barney Ronay, as well as his showreel.

The always opinionated Kartik Krishnaiyer (co-host of the EPL Talk Podcast) will, once a month, debate with Farley and McKenna a hot Premier League topic in a monthly roundtable discussion. The 45-60 minute debate will focus on a heated topic. But rather than glance over topics, the trio will dive deep into the topic and will provide a detailed analysis on the topic at hand. The trio have several roundtable ideas in mind and are currently researching topics for the first roundtable episode.

EPL Talk Pro will not just be audio and video. Each month, Richard Farley and Jesse Chula will, between them, write 3-4 feature-length articles covering aspects of the Premier League that often are overlooked or under appreciated. An example of Farley’s attention to detail can be seen in his recent article, Where to Go When Our Crude Tools Can’t Capture Carlo’s Trequartista, which tackled the fine art of how to describe formations. Chula recently published an article entitled Music, Media and Manchester: The Search For North West England’s Best Band, which combined his love of music with football. These are just two examples of the writing duo’s talent.

Last but not least, each month of EPL Talk Pro will feature an exclusive interview with a celebrity from the world of the Premier League. Stay tuned for a major announcement in the coming week regarding who our first guest will be. The one-of-a-kind interviews will be conducted either by Richard Farley or The Gaffer.

As an EPL Talk Pro subscriber, you’ll also be entered into a monthly drawing where one lucky EPL Talk Pro member will win a Premier League-related prize. Over the next several months we’ll be giving away prizes such as soccer books, DVDs and more. And if you become a member of EPL Talk Pro now, you’ll be entered into the drawing to win a replica shirt from your favorite Premier League club!

You get all of this for just $4.99 per month.

For the price of just one large Frappuccino a month, you get premium video, audio and written content each month focused on the Beautiful Game. And you also gain access to exclusive contests where you can Premier League-related items.

On top of this, you’ll also be the first to be notified of breaking Premier League news through a private Twitter account (@epltalkpro). And you’ll have exclusive access to a private RSS feed of all of EPL Talk’s posts in their entirety. Learn more about these changes in the EPL Talk Pro FAQ which will answer most, if not all, of your questions.

Now you may be wondering how the launch of EPL Talk Pro changes EPL Talk. The great news about today’s launch is that EPL Talk, the site and podcast, will remain the same. We’ll continue publishing all of the scoops, news and analysis you’ve grown accustomed to reading. And each week, the EPL Talk Podcast will continue to be available for free twice weekly.

The only major difference is that for die-hard Premier League soccer fans, you can now get more soccer analysis and high-quality content for just $4.99 per month.

We purposefully kept the monthly price low and affordable to ensure that all soccer fans who crave quality content could afford the $4.99 price. We trust that you’ll be impressed by the quality of content that EPL Talk Pro will be releasing, as well as the exclusive access to interviews with major celebrities in addition to contests. Plus, we’ll also throw in plenty of surprises now and again.

We’ve put a lot of hard work and effort into making EPL Talk what it is today. That won’t change, but for those of you who are interested in getting even more quality content, the type that you can’t find anywhere else, EPL Talk Pro is for you.

To learn more about EPL Talk Pro and why we’re expanding our coverage into premium content, be sure to read the EPL Talk Pro FAQ.

In 2009, EPL Talk was named both the Readers’ Choice and Editor’s Choice winner in the Best Competition Website category of the Soccerlens Awards. Here’s what they said about EPL Talk:

“EPL Talk edges out mainstream media sites like the BBC and The Guardian by giving you proper football analysis and wide-lens coverage of the English Premier League.”


“Over the years, EPL Talk has become a football blogging icon – coupled with the podcast, it’s quite possibly one of the best football blogs around.”

EPL Talk has been featured in The New York Times, The Guardian, on BBC 5 Live’s World Football Phone-In and Fighting Talk shows, NPR, BBC World Service, BBC World, CBC and more.

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  1. Lars

    March 5, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    Wish you good luck on the capitalist endeavour. Back in the day I distinctly remember a critique of World Football Daily from one of your contributors! Alas these are tough times and everyone needs to make a buck.

    Of course, I realize you meant the phrase to suggest its production qualities. But I do hope the irony of calling one of the features “NPR-quality” is not lost on you.

    NPR, if I’m not mistaken, is achieved through donations–from those who can give. This EPL Talk Pro seems to be in another category entirely.

  2. pete

    March 2, 2011 at 4:53 pm


    you say that but I have never seen any exclusive videos of player interviews, certainly not ones that are playing today. I know you have a fantasy league but cash prizes? I don’t think so. The only video interviews I’ve seen on the site are with the English press and I’m afraid I don’t want to pay to listen to them. I have no interest in paying to listen to a journalist who probably couldn’t kick a ball to save his life, not without falling over anyway. They may be of interest to you and your fellow writers but not to me.

    • The Gaffer

      March 2, 2011 at 6:49 pm

      Pete, here’s a link to a series of exclusive videos of player interviews (that are playing today):

      We offer prizes to the Fantasy Premier League winner, but not cash. It’s usually football-related items such as scarves, shirts and books.

      The Gaffer

  3. pete

    March 2, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    I don’t pay for any, and don’t intend to. There are so many free sites out there that I don’t think there is any need to pay.
    Unless the site has video content, exclusive interviews with managers, players, coaches and so on, or competitions like fantasy football with prize money for people who subscribe, then why pay?

    If a site is going to charge they need to have something that isn’t available for free elsewhere and articles written by people who are doing this as a hobby or people writing articles as a means of having something to put on their C.V is not something that isn’t available for free elsewhere.

    The above is fine as long as it’s free, i understand that everyone has to start somewhere but paying for articles written by some journalism grad fresh out of uni is well, not something that I am prepared to do.

    You basically have a forum here where people come and discuss the latest bit of news and that’s fine, it’s fun, but having another bill come out at the end of the month is a whole new ball game.

    • The Gaffer

      March 2, 2011 at 4:00 pm

      Hi Pete, but EPL Talk Pro is going to have video content, exclusive interviews with players, etc. We have a fantasy football competition where we usually give away prizes.

      I’ve got ten years experience as a journalist. We don’t have articles written by journalism grads. 🙂

      The Gaffer

  4. pete

    March 2, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    Well without trying to repeat a lot of what has already been said on here, i don’t think the people who write on here or the articles they produce are worth paying for.
    I’ve been coming here for a while on and off and i’ve yet to see any article or listen to any podcast that i would pay for. There is the odd article that has some interesting points or raises a good debate but that is about it.
    If i’m honest I visit the site a lot less than I used to, mainly because the quality just seemed to get worse and worse with writers trolling just to get hits, and if I don’t want to come and read the articles when they are free, I certainly do not want to pay for them.
    I understand that trying to make money out of site can be difficult but i would have tried some alternative methods of advertising rather than this, but it’s your decision and I wish you well, but I’m afraid that I wont be adding to my bills for this.

    • The Gaffer

      March 2, 2011 at 2:51 pm

      Pete, thanks for the feedback. Out of curiosity, which football sites would you pay to read articles from?

      The Gaffer

  5. Pete

    March 2, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    Not worth it

  6. King Eric

    March 2, 2011 at 11:06 am

    Bit of a disappointment regarding the “big news.” I guess I just got my hopes up, but I should have known it was going to be something along these lines. $60/yr. is like an annual fee for a credit card, no thanks. The info. can’t be that valuable, but either way, good luck w/the development and growth of the sitem; it keeps bringing me back and is a great source, so I’ve got no complaints.

    • The Gaffer

      March 2, 2011 at 12:18 pm

      If you look at anything on an annual basis, it looks like a big number. My cable bill alone would be more than a thousand dollars for something where I only watch a few channels. But for five bucks a month for EPL Talk Pro, I’m confident that you’ll find it money well spent.

      The Gaffer

      • Guy

        March 2, 2011 at 12:41 pm

        If I divided my annual cable bill by the number of channels I actually watch it would make me sick. Not going there! :-0

  7. Guy Robert

    March 2, 2011 at 10:42 am

    For those who question the potential quality of the new platform–I think you need to take The Gaffer at his word. He’s been at this five years now and certainly knows what needs to be done. If you try it and don’t like it the most you could be out is $5–$10.

    Yes, the writing on this site can be uneven at times, but that is because The Gaffer has been kind enough to allow us, the readers, to make contributions other than ranting comments. I have appreciated that opportunity and have contributed ten articles since last June. Needless to say I and other sometime “writers” won’t be part of the “Pro” team. 😉

    The only reason I won’t be subscribing is that I don’t listen to any pod casts as it is. Perhaps my “passion quotient” isn’t high enough. At any rate, I will continue to read this site as I do now, multiple times a day, because I enjoy many of the articles and the intelligent (for the most part) commentary that goes with them.

    btw, if you want to do something to help out the general cause all you have to do is click through on an ad or two on this site each day. I’m sure it would be appreciated. 🙂

    • Gaz Hunt

      March 2, 2011 at 11:00 am

      Good point. Chris can’t say it but I can as I don’t stand to gain a thing. If you enjoy the site, click a advert every couple of articles.

    • The Gaffer

      March 2, 2011 at 12:21 pm

      Good feedback. Thanks Guy. If you get a chance, give the podcast a listen. You may find you’ll become hooked! I know I am. Richard and the team do a splendid job.

      The Gaffer

  8. evertonfanKY

    March 2, 2011 at 9:16 am

    Gaffer have you been taking media lessons from Murdoch?

    Sorry I do like some of your articles and alot of effort goes into this site etc but I think it should be funded by advertising.

    • The Gaffer

      March 2, 2011 at 9:56 am

      evertonfanKY, I would love for the site to be funded by advertising too, but it’s not paying the bills. The banner advertising model is not sustainable.

      The Gaffer

      • EvertonfanKY

        March 3, 2011 at 5:29 am

        As I said I won’t be paying but I would like to say good luck to you Gaffer I think you have done a great job with this site and raising the profile of the EPL in the USA.

        I also like the way you take critiscim etc.

  9. Jon

    March 2, 2011 at 9:09 am

    I was initially skeptical about the idea of premium content, but I am encouraged to see that the existing site will not be impacted. If you’ve ever read an article here that interested or informed you, you’ve received more than you have paid for. I encourage everyone to keep an open mind about the new site and support the Gaffer and his team.

    • The Gaffer

      March 2, 2011 at 9:58 am

      Thanks Jon for your support. After more than five years of publishing Premier League news and analysis on a daily basis, I think that most readers here know that we can be trusted and that we’re not going to throw away the loyalty we’ve built with our readers.

      The Gaffer

  10. Nick

    March 2, 2011 at 2:17 am

    I have my issues sometimes with some of the contributers, maybe it is simply cause of the site seems to be an odd balance of professional journalism and passioned fan opinion and often I can’t find which is which. That said, I also like quite a bit about the site and turn my friends who are new to the sport to it cause it keeps up on current issues as well as having a broader context. I think I’ll give it a month or two whirl and see if I find it worth it or not.

  11. JC

    March 2, 2011 at 12:21 am

    As a long time reader, I will not be paying for the extra content. I would have rather seen you try a donation-based model (a site like uses donations exclusively, for example, and is successful doing so), because I do feel as if a lot of the good content that would have ended up free will now end up costing money. This is simply “how it works” when sites go to this type of plan (for reference, see EVERY SITE IN HISTORY that has gone with a pay-for model). Even if it doesn’t happen at first, eventually, the good stuff costs money or the pay-for model fails.

    Still, you guys put a lot of time & effort into this and I am in no position to tell you not to charge for it. You certainly deserve to do what you feel is best and I wish you and your contributors luck doing so. I will continue to listen to the free podcast, read the free content, and always be a fan of EPLtalk.



    • The Gaffer

      March 2, 2011 at 1:38 am

      JC, we tried asking for donations in the past but we only got a handful of people who offered anything.

      I can assure you that the vast majority of content that will generated for EPL Talk Pro would never have been created if EPL Talk Pro did not exist. What we’ll be producing for EPL Talk Pro is completely different than what we do for EPL Talk.

      The Gaffer

  12. bradjmoore48

    March 1, 2011 at 10:12 pm

    Perfect timing…lot of overtime at work = more disposable income and more need for soccer content to keep me sane. Count me in! Definitely looking forward to the Jonathan Wilson/Zonal Marking tactics tutorial/discussion.

    • The Gaffer

      March 2, 2011 at 1:40 am

      Thanks Brad! Welcome aboard. You’re going to love the Wilson/ZN piece!

      The Gaffer

  13. brn442

    March 1, 2011 at 10:06 pm

    So – Gaffer, do I win a stuffed toy or something? I was the only one (I think) to correctly, sort of, predict your big announcement. Tyler’s wonderful points aside, I wish you the best of luck.


    • The Gaffer

      March 2, 2011 at 1:42 am

      You were correct, wise one!!

      The Gaffer

  14. Thomas

    March 1, 2011 at 7:53 pm

    First of all, best of luck to you.

    My biggest issue with all this is that the quality on the site is very mixed. What keeps bringing me back is the fact that the good is very good. Some of your writers pen very good pieces. Some seem to throw together whatever none sense comes to mind.

    Sometimes I get the sense that some of the writers on here no far too little about the game to be contributing to what you have called a “leading” site.

    But then again, if you’re going to be charging, I would expect the quality of the content to be very good. And like I said, the good on this site is very good.

    I won’t be subscribing, but I will continue to read the version, and I wish you the best of luck with EPL Talk Pro.

    • The Gaffer

      March 1, 2011 at 8:31 pm

      Thanks Thomas for the kind words. It’s hard to have every article be a winner, but we try.

      The Gaffer

      • Thomas

        March 1, 2011 at 9:12 pm

        No it’s very understandable. You can’t pen something brilliant every single time. Overall the quality is good, otherwise I wouldn’t be coming back time and time again.

        Just based on the sheer number of responses, it seems you have quite the dedicated readership as well.

        I think a trial, or maybe featuring a one off story that appears both on the blog and the Pro Version would be a good way to show people what the new feature is all about.

        Granted you can’t get the full picture, but it would go a long way in showing that EPL Talk Pro is in fact a seperate entity and worth the money.

        For me, a big drawback, and this is more personal than anything, is the fact that I don’t listen to many podcasts as it is. So for me, I’d really only see the benefit of the written pieces. And I’m not sure I could justify $5 a month for 3-4 articles.

  15. Guy

    March 1, 2011 at 7:38 pm

    Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must first be overcome.—S. Johnson

    Go get ’em, Gaffer! 🙂

    • The Gaffer

      March 1, 2011 at 8:31 pm

      Thanks Guy! We’ll do our best.

      The Gaffer

  16. Dave C

    March 1, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    Uh-oh, I gotta say I’m not optimistic about this.

    1. I imagine the good articles will simply be diverted to the “pro” site, leaving the original site full of garbage.

    2. No offence, but I can’t imagine most of the writers on EPL Talk putting together anything “pay-worthy”. I appreciate what you all do now is essentially a hobby, and I actually like the fact that EPL Talk gives a chance to many relative novices to air their views. But Tyler is right that once money starts changing hands, a higher standard is required.

    3. It really doesn’t sound like we’d be getting a lot for $5 per month, especially when compared to the free output of established, professional rivals.

    I don’t mean to sound like a hater, and I hope you prove me wrong. Perhaps after a month or two, if I see I’ve been missing out on good stuff, I will sign up myself.

    • The Gaffer

      March 1, 2011 at 8:36 pm

      Hi Dave, see replies below…

      1. I disagree. My intent is to keep EPL Talk as good as it is now, but take the content to the next level with EPL Talk Pro

      2. It’s not a hobby. It’s a licensed business. Higher standards will be called for yes, but I think the EPL Talk Pro articles will do the talking.

      3. We’re focusing on quality not quantity. Stay tuned to EPL Talk in the coming days and you’ll get a better idea regarding what EPL Talk Pro is going to be all about.

      No worries about being a pessimist (or realist). Hopefully we’ll show you the light pretty soon. And we’d love to have you on as a subscriber at that time.

      The Gaffer

      • Dave C

        March 2, 2011 at 10:13 am

        Sorry, when I referred to it as a hobby, I meant most of the writers are relative new-comers (both to football and writing for public consumption) and their writing is something they fit in alongside a day job. I didn’t mean it to sound like an insult.

        • The Gaffer

          March 2, 2011 at 10:42 am

          No worries Dave C!

          The Gaffer

    • trickybrkn

      March 1, 2011 at 9:44 pm

      I personally think Dave makes a ton of sense… and I know I get negative a lot on here because of what I perceive as a bias toward ‘big’ clubs, and glory hunting fans that don’t truly understand the culture. And I’ve been tough on the gaff when I think he goes for clicks over substance… I found this place when there where just flat out lies on stories over Tevezgate…

      The level of writing now is pretty average. Its more like a sports phone in show, and even your published writers seem to want to write things to shock, i.e. Barca is boring…

      And while to the Gaffer the entire Talk series of blogs is a money maker for you, it does come off as a personal blog.
      And to that, it seems like you may have jumped the gun on this on. NY Times Soccer blogs are by far a higher quality standard of writing. And they are free.

      And the whole cup of coffee routine, what am I at Best Buy and you want me to buy an extended warranty of my DVD player. That’s 60 bucks a year. and while it may not sound like a lot, I’d pay 4.99 for an app that had this content. 14.99 for live audio of games… like I do for the MLB apps. Something that I’d dedicate to on maybe my train ride to work, or chilling out to… But if I start paying 5 bucks for every blog I read… well. Its be more then my car insurance. More then I can afford.

      I do wish you the best of luck, but when Newsday the 10th largest daily went to a paywall ( and yes I understand the difference) they got 30 paid subscribers in three months. So your up against it… and even worse up against it for retention.

      Its like opening up a seafood restaurant next to Red Lobster, so you best be good, real good. no Great. All My best to you in this venture. I wish there was a month to month option, as I’d try it for a month out of curiosity.

      • The Gaffer

        March 2, 2011 at 1:47 am

        Trickybrkn, no offense to you or The New York Times, but I don’t rate their soccer blogs that highly. I believe that EPL Talk Pro can be MUCH better.

        As far as five bucks a month, I’m confident you will see the value on a monthly basis whereby those dollars spent seem like a bargain for what you get.

        The difference with Newsday and other organizations is that they went cold turkey and set up a paywall. What we’ve done is set up no paywall. Everything we did before will continue to be free in the future. It’s just now we’re offering more. And that more is brand-new content that you would have not received before. And for that, we’re charging five bucks a month.

        We’ll kick Red Lobster’s butt! 😉

        There is a month-to-month option. If you enjoy the first month, it’ll auto-renew. If you’re not satisfied within the first month, you can cancel the subscription so you won’t get charged again.

        The Gaffer

  17. Santimug

    March 1, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    I think $4.99 is a little too much for what you’re offering, I’m not trying to be negative or anything, but if it was something lower like $2.49? I’m sure more fans would subscribe and you might be getting more profits in the long run, I personally won’t subscribe right, the content isn’t too exciting, or I guess you guys just hyped it way too much.
    Anyways, good luck with your project and I hope it pays off.

    • The Gaffer

      March 1, 2011 at 8:38 pm

      Thanks Santimug for your comment. I disagree. For $4.99, the value will be self-evident. The content will be worth far more than $2.49.

      The Gaffer

  18. jm

    March 1, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    Might I suggest a free week or so of premium content, perhaps a month or two into launch (so that you’ve ironed out the kinks before doing the advertising)? (It would have to be limited in some ways of course, as I’d imagine you could not do the twitter feed access in quite the same way). I do not listen to the podcast because of a reason that does not require discussion here (I have old posts that would give an indication why), but I would like to try out the new roundtable and audio features. I did see that some of the features would be available 1-3 weeks later, but I was not clear if that was going to be the articles or the media content as well. Either way, I’d be far more interested in listening to one of those stories if it concerns timely issues, as it would with a week long preview.

    Best of luck with your new venture!

    • The Gaffer

      March 1, 2011 at 8:40 pm

      Jeff, stay tuned to EPL Talk for upcoming news. No free trial is planned as of yet, but we do plan on releasing some excerpts to give readers and listeners a taste of what EPL Talk Pro is all about.

      The Gaffer

  19. eplnfl

    March 1, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    A great step forward for you and the crew Chris. Since 2005 I have always felt that I was getting a lot for nothing from Chris. So have a small fee to pay is nothing compared to the hours of enjoyment and friends I have met through EPL Talk.

    I have sought to contribute by way of writing every once in a while and will contribute to do so free of charge and if Chris can make some money on it great. Being able to make friends with the people on this site and getting to meet Chris and Kartik and others over the years has been a blessing. You hear so many stories of people meeting bad people on the net well this has been a big positive story for me.

    I will be signing up.

    • Thomas

      March 1, 2011 at 7:56 pm

      Idk where you get the idea he gets nothing. Check the side bar of the blog it’s full of advertisements. Those bring revenues. Perhaps not a huge chucnk of money, but still something. And guess what, the more unique readers and visitors that come to the site, the more that advertising space is worth.

      • The Gaffer

        March 1, 2011 at 8:29 pm

        Thomas, the banner advertising model is not sustainable. See for more info regarding my thoughts on this.

        The Gaffer

        • Thomas

          March 1, 2011 at 8:40 pm

          Fair enough. As for most sites, advertising alone isn’t enough.

          I was just saying, there is commercialization on the site.

    • The Gaffer

      March 1, 2011 at 8:42 pm

      Thanks Lou. That’s one of the many great things about running EPL Talk, being able to make friends with readers such as yourself!

      The Gaffer

  20. trickybrkn

    March 1, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    Best of luck…

    • The Gaffer

      March 1, 2011 at 8:42 pm

      Thanks Trickybrkn.

      The Gaffer

  21. Andrew

    March 1, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    Question: So I just signed up…am I going to sign in to Pro when it arrives? Will it be emailed to me? How will you insure only subscribers are able to view the content? When will it be up and running.

    Sorry if the questions are answered somewhere else. I don’t have time to read all the comments because I’m focusing on FSC right now…..c’mon united.

    • andrew

      March 1, 2011 at 3:25 pm

      nevermind. I just got a conformation email. hopefully Pro will be up soon.

      gitinthere rooney. cmon united

      • The Gaffer

        March 1, 2011 at 8:46 pm

        Thanks for joining Andrew. It’s great to have you onboard EPL Talk Pro!

        The Gaffer

  22. Nathan

    March 1, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    Dear Tyler,

    Please cease and desist all other comments on this post. You assume a certain less than acceptable production value will be provided, without actually experiencing said production value. No one is compelling you to pay money, nor is anyone compelling you to spend time listening. Would you pay for or spend time listening to podcast about underwater basket weaving if it was flawlessly produced in a state-of-the-art studio? If you like the content but the production value is not to your standards, please feel free to discontinue your membership. The rest of us will deal with the horrible inconvenience of a production that’s 80% good in exchange for content that is 100% worth it. Do yourself a favor and take your standards elsewhere.

    Common Sense

  23. Andrew

    March 1, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    I’ll give it a try only because of how much I’ve enjoyed the site and podcast during the past few years. I think the work put into the site alone is probably worth my $5 dollars per month. I just hope this spurs on the writers and contributors to put out a bevy of innovative content. I’d hate to see rehashed and over-done interviews and topics sold as new stuff.

    Good Luck EPL talk! Take Chances!

  24. Aious

    March 1, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    Site is a good one for interesting articles but not even remotely close to being pay-worthy

    Good luck but don’t be surprised to see it flop big-time

    If you simply move free-articles to pro, you will lose a significant portion of the hits.

  25. David G

    March 1, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    I like the idea of more expanded and in-depth content for a fee.

    Just some thoughts…

    1. Make the fee payable with various options I hate monthly automatically recurring charges, but I would be on board with a 50 dollar one time fee for a year that is NOT automatically renewed (in fact I’d sign up for the 50 dollar one time charge right now…monthly I’m hesitant). Wouldn’t mind an email at the end of the year letting me know my supscripition is soon to expire.

    2. A change from blog look of to a more standard website look. Intergrate both the free and paid material.

    3. Take an idea from ESPN’s NBA section and get 20 bloggers to write about each team individually in the same mold as Truehoop. This wouldn’t nessecarily be for the “pro” epl talk but free content. I’m sure you could find 20 people willing to write about a team in the EPL for free just to increase exposure to their own sites and of course increase the traffic to epltalk. I think some articles should be about the Championship…maybe another blogger in the “EPL Talk Blogger Netwiork” would focuse primarily on the 20 teams in the Championship so fans could learn a little about the possible teams that would be in the EPL the following year.

    4. Create a section of the site to go over various strategies, formations, player roles, italian player roles and what they mean, and what it means when an announcer or writer describes a player as a “number 9”

    5.Keep Earl’s game reviews free!

    6. Get Comcast to show Fox Soccer in HD 🙂

    • The Gaffer

      March 1, 2011 at 2:00 pm

      David, see my answers below.

      1. Right now, the only payment option is a monthly recurring fee. But if/when other payment options become available, I’ll let readers know.

      2. Great idea. This would have to be down the road if we go there, though. I’m still paying off the bills for the current design!

      3. I like the idea, but I don’t want to overload everyone here at EPL Talk whereby the quality suffers. I’d rather stick to what is manageable, at least for now.

      4. These type of topics will be covered in EPL Talk Pro. I believe the ‘number 9’ role is discussed in the 3 part series that Richard Farley conducted with Zonal Marking and Jonathan Wilson.

      5. You got it.

      6. I’m trying. I’m a Comcast customer too. The best bet is to continue harassing Comcast!

      The Gaffer

  26. Jeremy Hermida

    March 1, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    So we won’t get content like this for free any more?

    Shame. Still there are other blogs available.

    • The Gaffer

      March 1, 2011 at 1:39 pm

      Jeremy, articles like that will still be available for free on this site.

      The Gaffer

  27. Matt

    March 1, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    I really enjoy EPL Talk and hope this succeeds. However, I probably won’t subscribe to the pro content, but would consider it if I were allowed a free trial subscription.

    • The Gaffer

      March 1, 2011 at 12:40 pm

      Thanks Matt for your honesty and your suggestion.

      The Gaffer

      • Up the Chels!

        March 1, 2011 at 1:07 pm

        At this point, my limited funds cannot justify paying $5 per month for a pro version of the website when I do know what I will be getting. If even a single month of free trial were allowed, I would be able to see what I would be getting, the production quality, and especially with the “feature length” articles and the audio/video content. If the material is quality and the topics unique enough that I cannot get them elsewhere, then $5 per month would be a penance to pay. However, until that, I cannot justify paying for an unknown additional quantity over the free website.

        • The Gaffer

          March 1, 2011 at 1:22 pm

          Chels, understood, but I have a feeling you’ll be changing your mind pretty soon once you hear who our first celebrity interview guest will be!!!

          The Gaffer

          • Earl Reed

            March 1, 2011 at 1:55 pm

            I didn’t know Charlie Sheen was into football!?!

  28. Earl Reed

    March 1, 2011 at 11:46 am

    For the most part, we who contribute to this site put forth time, effort, knowledge, and what we hope can be construed as talent, to bring fans like us a place to discuss the Premier League in what ends up being of, by, and for fans. The Gaffer willingly opens the door to many of us who have no experience in the field of writing, to be able to share our thoughts and engage a response from our fellow readers. I am grateful to him for the opportunity to opine.

    Please realize that there are professional journalists who contribute. I think that, at times, it can be easy to take an article from someone like myself – who is a scientist by day – and allow it to cast a shadow on the fine work of the pros. The guys on the podcast spend a lot of time doing research, watching games, and keeping up-to-date with the football world. Are they without fault? Of course not, but it disheartens me to see these guys nitpicked when the gig is a lot more than sitting down with an internet connection and talking.

    The Gaffer is trying something new, something that may or may not succeed. That’s the nature of a risk, of putting oneself out there for the masses to decide whether the demand for content can earn enough to compensate the time and effort of those plying their skills for our benefit. I believe The Gaffer when he says that the mother ship and podcast will remain free. To be cliche, nothing ventured, nothing gained. Here’s hoping that there are enough of us who are willing to spend a few bucks that this venture will succeed long term, because there aren’t many amateur football sites that would offer the amount and style of additional content freely.

    • Gaz Hunt

      March 1, 2011 at 12:32 pm

      Hear, hear.

      That’s what I like about the site, though. It fosters a very supporter-centric environment where visitors not only read and comment but some also occasionally write articles.

      Here is just another option for those interested in having some good content that requires a little more time to produce. Just decide if it’s worth it to you or not.

      • The Gaffer

        March 1, 2011 at 12:44 pm

        Exactly Gaz. To me, it’s a win-win situation. For those readers who want to get the exclusive content, that will be deeper in context than the regular posts, then they can get it for just five bucks a month. For those who are happy with what is there now, nothing changes.

        The Gaffer

    • John Boschini

      March 2, 2011 at 9:50 am

      Just to piggyback on what Earl said.

      I came to The Gaffer about a year ago and he graciously offered me a writing position. He took a chance on an unproven writer who had a ton of ambition but was short on experience and it’s something I’ll be forever grateful for.

      What EPL Talk is known for (and why it has continued to grow so consistantly) is the informal style The Gaffer has promoted. First-person opinion pieces are common in a way you wouldn’t find on ESPN, The Guardian or Sky. This has created a vibrant community that interacts often in the comments section but it’s not people’s go to site for hard news and traditional features. This new feature will take a step in that direction.

      What The Gaffer is doing is adding another layer to the long-established EPL Talk format. As far as I can tell, nothing will change as far as the free version and, if successful, EPL Talk Pro will strengthen the site’s hard news angle.

      I, for one, wish The Gaffer all the best with the new endeavor.

      • The Gaffer

        March 2, 2011 at 9:54 am

        Thanks John. And for those who don’t know, John is now one of the top writers at Soccer By Ives, one of the best sites focused on American soccer.

        The Gaffer

  29. Michael

    March 1, 2011 at 11:28 am

    Some of the content is very good. If the site were full of Richard, Kartik, Gaffer, etc. quality I think I would happily pay. But until the weeds such as the boyish, ManUnited-centric, Brit-football-cliche ridden, BORING Jesse Chulas are purged from the site it won’t be worth $5 for me.

    • The Gaffer

      March 1, 2011 at 12:49 pm

      Michael, thanks for the feedback. We’re not always going to be able to please everyone. So while you may not value Jesse’s copy, others will. And writers you like on the site may be disliked by other readers. You can still sign up for $5 per month and not read Jesse’s stories. That’s your right. There’s still enough value outside of Jesse’s posts (not to pick on Jesse, but whether someone likes or dislikes a writer’s content is very subjective).

      The Gaffer

  30. Tyler

    March 1, 2011 at 11:16 am

    The fact is once you start charging for something, the standards at which you are held changes. If I had my own soccer site I ran in my spare time and someone told me it was shite, I would politely tell them to eff off. However, once you start charging money the game changes, that’s just the facts. Presentation and production values ARE a big deal, regardless of content once you start charging money for them.

    While the podcast itself will remain free, I’m just using it as a benchmark for other AV content that you mentioned will not be.

    • The Gaffer

      March 1, 2011 at 12:56 pm

      Tyler, I completely agree with you. That’s why we’ll be taking more time and resources to create high quality content through EPL Talk Pro. If you’re still skeptical, my recommendation would be to wait until you hear a free sneak peek of our content in the future.

      The Gaffer

  31. Drew M.

    March 1, 2011 at 11:08 am

    One other thing to consider is that if the majority of premium content is AV, then that makes it less useful to someone like me who reads EPL Talk primarily from work, where I can’t watch documentaries but can read articles.

    • The Gaffer

      March 1, 2011 at 1:05 pm

      Drew, good feedback. There will be 3-4 articles per month on EPL Talk Pro, 1 video and 3 audio features. So it’ll be a good mixture between different forms of media. For the audio and video, they would be something that you could download on to a portable device or watch from the comfort of your home. The videos and audio (as well as the articles) will be worth your time experiencing it at home (or sneaking it in at work).

      The Gaffer

  32. Andy Kay

    March 1, 2011 at 11:03 am

    This move is understandable I suppose as things like EPL Talk take a lot of time and money to run and unless you plan on doing it as a full time hobby or as a personal labor of love, you’re not going to make a lot of money from ads or kickbacks from sales referrals from places like

    Personally speaking, I already pay enough to other sites in online subscriptions that I won’t (for now at least) be subscribing to the Pro version of EPL Talk. There are plenty of other sites on the web, mainly in the UK, that I can get all the information on the club I support in particular, and the English football scene in general.

    EPL Talk will remain at the top of my bookmarks list, but only as long as the “free” version remains around. Anything else in the way of videos, podcasts, interviews etc. are going to be freely available elsewhere.

    • The Gaffer

      March 1, 2011 at 1:08 pm

      Hi Andy, thanks for sharing your opinions about this. The great news is that you’ll continue to access the free articles and podcasts from EPL Talk. However, the other content we provide will be one-of-a-kind that you won’t be able to find elsewhere. It’s my hope that you’ll see the value of the content at a later date and that you may change your mind.

      The Gaffer

  33. different Martin

    March 1, 2011 at 10:52 am

    This was the site I first used when I began following world soccer on a greater basis around 2006. I really liked it, and am glad it was here for me during those first few years.

    Since then, I have moved on to other sites and forums more specific to my team and interests, but I still like to check back here from time to time. I find this subscription-based news a bit sad, but hope nothing for the best for The Gaffer as he tries to move forward.

    • The Gaffer

      March 1, 2011 at 1:14 pm

      Different Martin, thanks for the positive feedback. I totally understand that we can’t be everything for everyone, so as long as you continue to visit the site on a frequent basis, that’s a positive sign. Hopefully over time you’ll see the benefit of becoming an EPL Talk Pro member, but thanks for the honesty.

      The Gaffer

  34. Martin

    March 1, 2011 at 10:15 am

    I’m thinking this is akin to ESPN and ESPN Insider. You get the general news on ESPN and for trade rumors, indepth stat analysis, background articles, etc. you pay for an ESPN Insider account.

    As a suggestion, you should offer a yearly subscription at a discount to the monthly fee. Currently it would cost me $60 a year. Offer me something like a 25% discount for a yearly subscription, so $45. I’d give EPL Talk Pro a shot for a year at that discounted price.

    While I agree with some that the articles and podcasts aren’t the best presentation of information we can find elsewhere, EPL Talk is the first place I landed when trying to get info on the EPL when I first got hooked on English Soccer. As such, I want to support the site and help usher in bigger and better content.

    • The Gaffer

      March 1, 2011 at 1:18 pm

      Great feedback. Thanks Martin. We’ll definitely keep in consideration your idea of an annual subscription discount. But for the foreseeable future, it’ll be $4.99/month which is still a bargain in my opinion.

      The Gaffer

    • Will

      March 1, 2011 at 3:36 pm

      I get insider for free with my ESPN the Mag subscription, which I got online for 10 bucks for 5 years a year ago.

  35. Your Ma

    March 1, 2011 at 10:10 am

    My negative comment must have been ‘moderated’, weak.

    • The Gaffer

      March 1, 2011 at 1:25 pm

      Your Ma, I looked through the site and didn’t see any comments of yours being moderated. You may want to post them again because they weren’t moderated (might have been an Internet glitch).

      The Gaffer

  36. Tyler

    March 1, 2011 at 9:44 am

    Frankly, I think the writing and research on this website is well below par with other major soccer-specific web-pages and I could not justify paying anything for the quality of articles on display here. Unless the Pro section is a MAJOR upgrade from the quality of material on display on the current site I’m afraid it is simply not worth it. The podcasts and audio material are even worse…the presenter’s are a awkward and it is literally painful to listen to them awkwardly stumble through interviews and analysis and they are miles away from other podcasts such as’s weekly podcast which is presented by professional journalists and commentators who are highly trained in their craft. Oh, and that is available for FREE. I don’t care how much ‘more depth’ you claim to be offering, if the presenters are awkward it won’t matter.

    I’m not trying to be a hater, but I think you need to seriously step back and take an honest look at the quality of material being offered and whether people are really willing to add another monthly bill to their plate for it.

    • MiaK

      March 1, 2011 at 10:10 am

      Wow! Was this rant necessary? You could have said all that and with your actions. EPL Talk will figure out just how good and appealing they are based on the number of subscriptions they will be able to drum up.
      I don’t feel the need to lay into them. Personally, I think that the material here is good, i am a regular visitor to the site and I frequently download and listen to the Pod.
      However, I am sorry to say that I won’t be a subscriber at this time. Will that change in the future? That door is certainly not closed. We will see. In the mean time, good luck to the EPL Talk team, I have a lot of appreciation for the work that you guys bring to the table.

      • Jesse Chula

        March 1, 2011 at 10:49 am


        I’d like to respectfully disagree with your comments. You allude to an idea that the current EPL Talk podcast isn’t as good as others available but I’d like to present a conflicting idea that it’s just as good, sometimes better than most podcasts out there at the moment.

        Don’t let the cheesy music and DIY approach to the show detract from the content the main three provide. The show is produced and recorded in California while the other two panel members are in both different geographical locations and time zones all while working on a shoe-string budget.

        Comparing the EPL Talk podcast to something ESPN produces is like comparing apples to oranges – and I’d still argue that the content, analysis and debate Kartik, Laurence and Richard provide is on par with the competition.

        The EPL Talk podcast may sometimes boast an amateurish disposition, but couldn’t that air be down to the fact that the crew are largely working on this show in their free time – time away from their normal jobs and day to day activities?

        • Tyler

          March 1, 2011 at 10:54 am


          But that is precisely my point. You yourself admit the production values are amateurish, and cannot be compared to what ESPN produces. Fair enough. However, how then can you justify charging for it? ESPECIALLY, if the ESPN offering is free. If it’s some guy out of his basement providing analysis, then I have no interest in paying for it, I’m sorry. If, on the other hand, the Pro versions of these productions make a massive step-up in their production values then charging for it can be considered, but even then if ESPN’s is free, why shouldn’t yours? Regardless, unless you offer at the very least a trial period for people to see for themselves how much better the content really is, I’m going to, based on the evidence I’ve seen, assume it’s not all that much better.

          • Laurence

            March 1, 2011 at 11:00 am

            There is still free content on the site. The free podcast still remains free.

            Thanks for the feedback on the podcast. If you want to let me know what you think would improve the podcast then let me know:


            I know you’re not a hater Tyler, so genuinely, put some feedback my way.

          • Earl Reed

            March 1, 2011 at 11:08 am

            Could you please point out where anyone said that the EPL Talk Podcast was not going to be provided free of charge?

            And for the record, the free market will either prove or deny your point regardless.

          • Jesse Chula

            March 1, 2011 at 11:10 am

            Maybe I was a little vague in my response and as this comments section is concerned, it seems as if a few people are missing the point that the EPL Talk podcast is and will remain free.

            And Tyler, you’re also assuming that production and content are equal. If I produced a podcast that was professional, pristine and clear, it would still be average at best because I’m not a good podcaster. The content wouldn’t be great.

            My earlier point was that although the production value doesn’t have thousands of $$$$ behind it, the content is still great.

          • The Gaffer

            March 1, 2011 at 1:11 pm

            Tyler, let me step in and share my feedback. The production values will be better on the EPL Talk Pro audio than what you’re accustomed to hearing on the EPL Talk Podcast. It won’t be some guy out of his basement providing analysis. It’ll be expert analysis on meaty topics that you won’t find elsewhere. Keep the faith and I’m confident that you’ll see the difference with EPL Talk Pro.

            The Gaffer

          • Tyler

            March 1, 2011 at 4:11 pm

            I’m honestly not trying to be an internet troll here. I really do wish you the best, I was just expressing the thought that your content and presentation will need to improve to justify charging for it. From what The Gaffer has said it sounds like he is aware of that, and plans are in place to make it happen. Great! I look forward to seeing what you come up with and I hope it’s awesome, exclusive content that I and others will be willing to pay for.

        • voodoochat

          March 1, 2011 at 12:22 pm

          This is agonizingly pretentious writing. (Or maybe that’s just me boasting an amateurish disposition.)

      • The Gaffer

        March 1, 2011 at 1:26 pm

        Thanks MiaK, I’m confident you’ll jump on the EPL Talk Pro once you get a taste of it!

        The Gaffer

    • Laurence

      March 1, 2011 at 12:19 pm

      Hi Tyler,

      The podcast remains free as does much of the other content. That’s why this is premium content. Essentially none of the content is moving.

      I’m not gonna get into a model debate because most people are still developing their ideas and this is a step in the development. There will always be free and paid-for content.

      I’d like to hear your thoughts on the podcast. If you see room for improvement in the content:

      I know you’re not a ‘hater’ so drop me an email.

    • The Gaffer

      March 1, 2011 at 1:32 pm

      Tyler, the audio, video and written content will be at a higher level than what you’re accustomed to on EPL Talk. We’ll spend more time on each piece. With the regular version of EPL Talk, we do our best to get as much information out to readers as possible, but it sometimes is rushed (especially when we have a breaking story about Manchester United as we did today. When things are rushed, mistakes happen). With EPL Talk Pro, it’ll be an entirely different experience. The EPL Talk Pro will stand on its own.

      The Gaffer

      • Tyler

        March 1, 2011 at 4:25 pm

        Sorry, I think I replied in the wrong place above. Here it is pasted in again:

        I’m honestly not trying to be an internet troll here. I really do wish you the best, I was just expressing the thought that your content and presentation will need to improve to justify charging for it. From what The Gaffer has said it sounds like he is aware of that, and plans are in place to make it happen. Great! I look forward to seeing what you come up with and I hope it’s awesome, exclusive content that I and others will be willing to pay for.

  37. CTBlues

    March 1, 2011 at 9:22 am

    I’m hope you will still be keeping the subscription free version going, but it seems that better quality articles will end up on the Pro version of the site. This is bit of a let down just like when World Soccer Daily went subscription based.

    • The Gaffer

      March 1, 2011 at 1:34 pm

      CTBlues, the free versions of EPL Talk will continue as-is. We’ll still have good stories on EPL Talk, no doubt. But EPL Talk Pro will speak for itself in terms of quality content.

      The Gaffer

  38. Wow

    March 1, 2011 at 9:22 am

    Great to see my favorite site come so far. Congrats to everyone at the EPLTalk team and good luck in this new era. Love the cheap price as well.

  39. Christian

    March 1, 2011 at 9:14 am

    I’m sure this move will be met by the typical internet snarkiness but I wish you guys luck on this venture. EPL Talk has been a great source for me in getting to know the league and sport as a new fan.

    That said, I’m glad you’re keeping the podcast free and hope that continues as it’s the only conversation I get to hear about the league and enjoy it quite a bit.


    • The Gaffer

      March 1, 2011 at 1:35 pm

      Thanks Christian!

      The Gaffer

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