I’ve been watching football for as along as can remember, the winning the fans and the joy of success with of course plenty of ‘that was never a penalty’ we’ve all been in that position – for football fans that’s de rigueur!
In the last few years however I have become more aware that for the top flight teams (aka the Premier League) its all about money. The football and the communities they serve play second fiddle to the amount of cash they can generate and take from their supporters. Take Manchester United a team my father has supported all his life, he was there the game after Munich, he often tells me Duncan Edwards was the best centre forward he’s ever seen. As a club they are amongst the richest in the world, yet why do they need to change three playing kits every year (*source Daily Mail). They’re not alone Arsenal now have three new kits every year, so if you want all three thats about £250 every year!
For me football in the top flight has lost the very reason why it exists, its all about money, rather than football. I know there is pressure on managers and players to perform but too often we see games at the top flight where team play not to loose because everyone is afraid of loosing their jobs and that the cash difference between league positions can be many millions. Overall I think it spoils football as an experience, it removes the fact that one team from town or city wants to beat the other.
So what have I done about it, well I’ve gone all lower league and in this instance had the best time at a football match for a long time when I went to watch Gosport Borough vs Weston Super Mare in the National League South. I took my daughter and we stood right on the barrier and watched an entertaining game of fans not segregated that finished 1-1. Not only that but my daughter bought a scarf £3.50, was welcomed by the staff and asked if she’d enjoyed herself and would she come back again. As for the football is was great, some real talent on display and thoroughly enjoyable to watch.
So what have I learned, well obviously the big clubs have to make money for the club’s sake, i’m not a fool I know that. I think its just a shame that football in my opinion has lost its soul, or should that be sold its soul to make money – but making as much money as they can shouldn’t be the primary objective, it should be entertainment.