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Football May Soon Be Shown from the Players' Perspective. MU Owners are Ready to Launch the Technology

Manchester United's owners want to attach cameras to footballers and sell a new type of football match broadcast.

The Glazers are trying to make money

The Glazers are among the most hated football club owners in the world. United fans can't stand the American billionaires because they only care about profit. A recent ESPN investigation revealed all the horror of what's happening inside England's once best club - the Glazers save on everything and everyone except themselves. It's embarrassing - the support staff get paid much less than their City colleagues, and MUTV employees spend weeks begging for new equipment. At the same time, the Glazers have heated seats in the presidential box.

However, the Americans' pursuit of money sometimes leads to good things, even breakthroughs. According to ESPN, the owners want to put cameras on Man Utd players and sell a new image to fans.

"The big idea, or the big hope that the Glazers have led by Ed Woodward, is the emergence of augmented reality. The technology already exists; thanks to it, a player can wear an augmented reality device on his body, and a fan anywhere in the world can pay a small amount to see the game through the eyes of their favorite footballer.

Just imagine how much United could earn from its huge fan base worldwide if fans could pay to be Marcus Rashford or Bruno Fernandes for 90 minutes," said a source in a conversation with the publication.

And although ESPN journalists don't believe in success, considering that the Glazers do everything "unprofessionally, the wrong way, and unsuccessfully," the idea is promising, although not new.

The Glazers have yet to come up with the idea of putting bodysuits (a discreet vest with a built-in chest camera) on footballers and broadcasting the picture to fans. In July 2022, a similar experiment was carried out at the German football club Köln - cameras were put on Timo Hubers and Mark Uts in a friendly match against AC Milan. The experiment was immediately recognized as a breakthrough in sports broadcasting and turned out incredible. I was especially impressed by Giroud's beautiful goal from the point of view of the Köln defender.

The augmented reality camera works: the player puts on a vest with it under his uniform, and the camera looks into the neckline and shoots in wide format; artificial intelligence automatically crops the image at the right moment, resulting in a completely different perception of the moment. The experience is really fresh.

A year later, in the summer of 2023, Newcastle and Aston Villa repeated the experiment and were delighted. Bruno Guimaraes and Youri Tielemans plunged fans into a hell of a struggle, and everyone was satisfied, including the players. Bruno eventually said he didn't feel any discomfort and would wear the camera every game because it's fun for the fans and valuable for analysis.

However, MindFly technology (the company that produces intelligent chest cameras) may stay on track. The International Football Association Board, or IFAB, prohibits the exploitation of such equipment, allowing only its use by referees - and then more for protection against player attacks.

Only some Premier League clubs are excited about the idea, too. According to the Daily Mail, some teams believe that a camera in the center of the uniform (a neckline appears on the shirt) could negatively affect sponsorship contracts. As you know, the place on the chest is the most expensive in the football uniform, and a potential camera will remove this item of income.

But it will add a new one, and this prospect pleases many. It is known that the Premier League is already cooperating with MindFly and is trying to convince IFAB to lift the ban. It is expected that officials will retreat in the future. But for now, clubs can only practice with the technology in friendly matches and receive enthusiastic reviews from fans in the comments. After all, they don't pay for it yet.

Published by Patrick Jane