The Cost of Football…. part one

Cost of football

In spite of the fact that I have followed football all my life and spent over a decade observing and writing about those who follow it, it is rare indeed that anyone asks me about anything related to the game itself which does not involve lads kicking the crap out of each other.

Therefore, I was slightly surprised to be contacted by a journalist the other night and asked to comment on the increasing furore surrounding the massive hike in season ticket prices at some clubs.

I suspect that the interviewer was expecting me to launch into a rabid tirade about the exploitation of football fans by money grabbing club chairmen and the evil Murdoch empire because they were not a little shocked when my response was pretty much exactly the opposite to that.

Now I know what I am about to write will horrify some people because it will, to be fair, be the very last thing they would expect to hear from me. However, the truth is that I’m of the opinion that the only reason football is expensive is because as an entity, fans have allowed it to become so.

Since the formation of the Premier League and the switch from sport to entertainment, those involved with the financial side of football have been gradually edging things toward the tipping point where it all goes horribly wrong. Yet incredibly, in spite of the desperate state of the nations finances and the continued horror at the obscene wages being paid to players,  that tipping point seems further away than ever. And the reason for that is quite simple. It’s because whilst football fans have long understood that they are being screwed over, they are too stupid or lazy to do anything about it.

Argue that all you like but it is an undeniable fact.

After all, no one forces anyone to buy a season ticket nor are we dragged kicking and screaming to a cashpoint to pay for Sky Sports. Like anything in life we all have the right to say no but when it comes to football, that right is rarely ever exercised. The result being that the game has carte blanche to continue on its inevitably self-destructive course unhindered.

Football Rebellion

The real worry of course, is what will happen when it does finally tip over the edge and implodes. For sure football will never die but could it ever recapture the power it holds at the moment? Or are we likely to see more clubs follow the amazing example of clubs such as AFC Wimbledon and FC United of Manchester as detailed so vividly in my book Rebellion (and you can buy that by visiting http://amzn.to/kC6L6d).

Time will tell I guess but whatever the outcome, the reality is that the only people to blame for whatever is looming on the distant horizon are you and me.

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