Since its creation in 1992, the Premier League has birthed a plethora of iconic players and coaches. For this reason when the Premier League announced their very own Hall of Fame in 2021, very high expectations were set. 2 years later and I think its safe to say that the Premier League hall of fame has been extremely underwhelming.
On the other hand, American sports culture, most notably the NBA, excels in this department. So here are a few things the Premier league should adopt from the NBA to make their Hall of Fame more exciting.
For the nomination process, the Premier League gives its fans the opportunity to select which players get inducted into the hall of fame. In my opinion this is a cute attempt by the Premier League to show how much they value their fans and their opinions. However, this can lead to many problems like bias from fans to pick their favourite players neglecting players that may deserve a spot in the hall of fame over others.
This is not to say that a selected player doesn’t deserve it (we are talking about the greatest players in premier league history here). But I believe that the best players who set the tone of defining how great the Premier League is should take priority. Controversial decisions catalysed by fans only create more disagreements amongst fans online. Ultimately taking away from the honouring and appreciation inductees should be receiving.
To rectify this, I think the Premier League should adopt the nomination process used by the Naismith Memorial Basketball hall of fame. For the NBA hall of fame nomination process there are two Screening Committees. These Committees review and select individual nominees (finalists) to be reviewed and voted upon for enshrinement by the Honours Committee. The purpose of the Honours Committee is to review carefully the selected finalist’s before casting a vote in favour of or against enshrining the finalist into the hall of fame. There are 24 voting members on each of the two Honours Committees. These consist of Hall of Famers, basketball executives and other experts in the game of basketball.
I believe that this process would allow for a more calculated way for players and managers to be inducted.
Hall of Fame ceremonies
The Premier League Hall of Fame lacks a lot of enthusiasm. They seem to just take a few pictures of the inductee’s, post a 3 minute video and then call it a day. The lack of opportunity to hear inductees speak about their journey and career is disappointing. An NBA style ceremony would allow former players and managers to honour old rivalries and inspire young players. Also, enshrinement speeches would offer personal insights and unrestricted thoughts from inductees. Just imagine Fergie and Wenger making jokes about a decade’s worth of rivalry. It’s those wholesome moments we live for.
It’s just a shame that if this were to be introduced many iconic names would have already missed this opportunity.
Physical Hall of Fame
I believe that a building dedicated to celebrating the inducted hall of famers should be created. This would allow fans to visit and learn more about the players and managers who have been inducted. And would also help to bring the Hall of Fame to life and make it more tangible for fans.
Despite all the room for improvement, the Premier League hall of fame does get a few things right. The black and gold themed medals and framed football shirts was a great addition. In my opinion this mirrors well with the trophies and rings received by NBA hall of famers.
The hall of fame is a wonderful way of honouring former Premier League icons. With with a few tweaks this could be another thing for us football fans to look forward to. What do you think would improve the leagues hall of fame?