Monday 28 September 2015

Football Crazed

Bubbles come and bubbles go but none go on forever.  This basic law of finance and complex dealing etc. has universal application.  It may even apply to football, that is the soccer variety, which has engulfed the media world with all its ramifications.

In recent years its expansion and presence has been fuelled by TV money in huge amounts forced by the bidding of a select groups of providers with what seemed a captive audience.  Add to that the money piled into clubs by large scale "investors" out to join what has seemed to be an elite.

Apparently, there has been a reduction in bidders for English clubs available to buyers and from the look of many grounds it may be that apart from some big clubs attendances are on the way down.

It does not take much watching to realise that our football fans are not entirely the sort of diverse group that reflect the urban hinterlands that the clubs allegedly represent.

There is the football itself.  What happens on the pitch these days is so orchestrated and organised that it is almost predictable.  Not just that but defence is far better than it once was which is  creating a predictable that is boring game to watch.
Then, alas, there are the players, managers and owners.  To be perfectly prejudiced there are few of them I would care to invite to dinner or even to deliver the milk. Watching many of the players is often looking at charmless thugs only there for the loot.

As for the managers they seem to me to be people who have been put through the mill in the most severe kind of interrogation training.  This is not surprising when there is a rare vision of the owners, mostly men doing Godfather impressions.

Beyond this has been all the bad publicity reeking out of the major bodies supervising the sport.  Even if the accused are innocent, there is now the feeling that all is not well nor honest.  More risky, however is the increase in the number of competitions adding and competing for the fans and casual watchers.

The key marker to suggest that the bubble is about to burst is when leading politicians pay homage to the whole caper.  We have had this in our Chancellor George Osborne handing over £3million of our money to Chinese football to train 5000 coaches because of the intense interest in China in English Premiership games.

George only forgot to add, "Can you hear me Mr. Murdoch" when telling us, in that Sky TV has football as one of its major sales features.  There is a lot of Sky money in football, almost as much as in politics.  It is possible that after two decades plus of this the viewers are now at saturation point and the only way is down.

One way to make it more interesting is perhaps rule changes to open up the game more and increase chances and goals.  But by the time the football authorities get round to this it may well be too later.

We cannot go back to 1857, see Sheffield FC above, nor even the I960's.

Is there any golf on tonight, or failing that, netball?

1 comment:

  1. For sheer nastiness parents at kids' football matches can take some beating.