English Football after 2000. Greed, greed & more greed.
English Football has been ruined for working class supporters thanks to sponsorships, viewing rights, the F.A, F.I.F.A, corruption, V.A.R. & Corporate boxes.
For the love of the game ….
This is due to the traditional passage of writes from father to son. That’s where the lower league clubs get their support. No other reasons really. Just cruel pressure from your Dad.
Most true fans have stood in the howling freezing rain on an uncovered away end in the winter months many times. Sometimes for an evening match, and usually on the wrong end of a 2-0 drubbing. Mostly, we’ve all done it for the love of our club.
Referees and “Lino’s” were always abused on a match by match basis. They volunteered their services and only got paid expenses, even in the old First Division matches. Club players usually had to have a trade to rely on during the week.
That was real football in the U.K, not the obscene gravy train that it is today.
Getting involved in English football
There are many ways that we can get involved with grass roots English football. Playing is the most usual, but coaching and managing are also possible if you follow the F.A (Football Association) guidelines.
Girls / women’s football is now established across the U.K. and the opportunities exist for a girl to get involved and qualify within the game if they choose to do so.
The F.A appears to the fans as an organisation made from mainly unaccountable, unknown individuals lining their own pockets at the expense of grass roots football.
In 2017, The F.A had to justify it’s behaviour to Parliament concerning complaints made from a female player. In summing up, The Chair of the Committee, Damian Collins MP, stated “……. raises serious questions about their (F.A) capacity to run internal investigations”, but the F.A continue to retain control of ‘vetting’ any potential new owners / buyers etc of our Football clubs.
It’s the F.A that allows themselves to decide on their own “Owners’ and Directors Test”. The F.A expect that “the owners, directors and officers of clubs in those leagues to meet standards greater than that required under law so as to protect the reputation and image of the game”.
Can the average fan easily access the details of decisions made concerning their beloved club?
Did their decisions to allow to fit and proper ownership help protect Blackpool, Bury & Charlton Football Clubs?
Most F.A decisions concerning our Football clubs smell unhealthy.
Wembley stadium, a National Treasure
In 2018 it was revealed that the F.A had been trying to sell (the new) Wembley stadium to a businessman involved in sport.
The new Wembley Stadium was paid for by the British Tax Payer and National Lottery charities, at a cost of approx. £120 million.
Reports emerged that the F.A had agreed to sell Wembley Stadium for between £500m -£600million. Was Wembley Stadium ever in the ownership of the F.A? Was it ever theirs to sell?
The F.A Cup
The F.A Cup is the oldest and most prestigious national footballing competition in the world, but has now declined into being a Mickey Mouse competition.
With the ever changing sponsors and re-naming, the competition has lost it’s global recognition. The F.A Cup will probably never regain it’s lost standing or credibility. There is now concern as to the very future of the competition. Disgraceful.
The Premier League & t.v rights
The money put into football over the years is probably greater than the entire U.K National Debt (pre-Corona virus epidemic). There is no doubting that the money from T.V rights has raised the profile of the English game to world dominating levels.
“The Shed” at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea was the epitome of the state of English football in the 1970’s / 80’s. Look at it now, a super stadium. White Hart Lane, Old Trafford, Elland Road or Anfield were no better to be honest. Now, England & Wales can boast some of the best stadiums, clubs and players in the world.
Those improvements in football have all come at a price. Gone are the days of fathers and sons sharing time together on a Saturday, supporting their club.
Rarely can we watch the English Football team matches live on BBC or ITV. We appear obliged to subscribe to a sports t.v channel in order to support our country.
Who are the overall losers in the end? It’s not the big organisations who control all aspects of the game that will loose, it will be “The Great Game” itself.
Where does all this T.V money go? To adequately support grass roots football? To financially assist the clubs and players in the lower leagues?
V.A.R was seen as the supporters saviour to all the bad, unscrupulous and biased refereeing. The honest way forward. Technology and justice.
Wrong. The only issues fans wanted fixing was the goal line technology. Was it a goal or not? Was the ball completely over the line or not?
If ever there was a need for goal line technology it was because of the Frank Lampard “No” goal against Germany in the 2010 South Africa World Cup.
Now that the F.A and Premier League have V.A.R, a version of technology, they have ruined top flight football in England overnight. No more cheering a goal. No more passion. Just long unsporting delays. We now wait 4 or 5 minutes before the inevitable overruling of the referee. Before players can celebrate, before the fans can cheer.
Within 5 years American style advert bursts will fill the increasing times taken to receive a V.A.R decision pitch-side. V.A.R will coincide until the pre-paid advertising has concluded. Then can the match can continue, playing second fiddle to the revenue busters.
This will be achievable 3 or 4 times per half. A planned progression to get football in line with the “experience” of all American sports.
Combine V.A.R with the ungentlemanly tinkering of the rules over the last 2 or 3 seasons by the “Authorities”, football is nothing like the simple exciting spectacle of sport and sportsmanship that it was for the previous 100 years.
Added with the high admission prices to enter a ground & Covid 19 ground restrictions, football is not an attractive product any more . The English beautiful game lies ruined. Taken from the working classes, by the sheer greed of individuals and American showbiz ego’s. Treason.
Suggestions for English Football
- V.A.R for goal line issues only
- let the referee, referee.
- Club ownership by credible individuals / business’s only. No more dodgy deals.
- any V.A.R decisions to made by 3 seasoned “old pro’s” who’ve played the game. Not some paid, unqualified lawyer type individual.
- subscription fees to sports T.V channels controlled by a Sports Minister, thus making football more available to the general public.
- decisions made by the F.A concerning any Club, openly displayed to the public and archived on the F.A website. Accountability.
- All funding of allocated funds to clubs and grass roots football, to be under Government control, pro rota. No favouritism.
- Live national Football (and Rugby) matches should be available on Free To View channels. That’s a national pride matter not a privatised elite privilege.
- F.A sponsorships need to transparent & ethical.
- There should be much more resources filtering through to the lower league clubs on a pro rota scale, under the control of a Government Sports Minister.
- Local football placed within the remit of Local councils, without F.A interference.
The F.A reputation, & the integrity and trust of those now controlling English football, are all in question from most English football supporters.
Those with their snouts in the football gravy train or with a gravy train mentality, can not sustain the game. They’re strangling it, like the golden goose.
Our football industry requires overseeing, courtesy of an independent Sports Minister, in order to preserve the once beautiful working class game.
A New Political Party is needed to deal with this greed, and give our game back to the working classes.