Written by Connor Lawson
It’s no secret that the Premier League, and English football in general, is being slowly but effectively destroyed by money.
Money plagues football. You see it everywhere from match tickets to players’ wages, and it seems that even more of our beautiful game is being taken away from the passionate fans who love it so dearly.
Every week you see things on social media about different ways in which the game is drifting away from its roots. For example, just the other day, I read about the clash between Everton and Brighton would be rescheduled for 1:30pm. Obviously so that it could be televised on Sky, right? Wrong; it was rescheduled so that it could be shown live in India.
To put that into perspective, that’s almost a ten hour round trip that Everton fans had to make on a Sunday. As one person simply put it; “the game’s gone”.
Also this weekend, we have seen Liverpool fans protesting about playing on Christmas Eve, purely so that Sky can televise it. Without any regard for people wanting to see their families, as well as people wanting to prepare for the big day, Sky have seen a chance to make money and taken it. Those travelling supporters will probably end up home late, rather than just staying with their families and enjoying the magic of Christmas Eve.
There seems to be no end to the increasing cost of football, yet the FA are prepared to do nothing about it. The FA, the organisation designed to ensure English football holds the best interests of the fans at heart, how ironic.
This is the same FA who allowed the demise of Wimbledon, Blackpool, Portsmouth and Leyton Orient to name a few. This is the same FA who stand by and watch as Arsenal charge over £1,000 for the cheapest season ticket at The Emirates. This is the same FA who don’t listen to the fans at all; they could not care less about the working class football fan.
Football is a business. This has been proven by the incompetence of certain club owners, who think they can run one, send it down the pan and then run away. The truth is football isn’t just like any other business. It is so unique, and football clubs have one major shareholder: the fans.
Of course people seek to make money out of football, but the only cash cow that is constantly milked is the fans. Why not stop spending hundreds of thousands of pounds on players’ wages. We are always seeing ridiculous stories of how one player earns £2 every second of the day.
Footballers try to pass themselves off as ‘ordinary people’ but they really aren’t. No wonder fans feel so alienated from players who, in some cases, earn over a thousand times the average worker in the UK.
The proof of the mess English football is in can also be seen by the formation of non-league clubs in recent times in places with already established Football League sides. The likes of FC United of Manchester, City of Liverpool and Coventry United are just a few examples of disgruntled fans taking matters into their own hands.
So far in the past are the days of affordable football for the working class. Now, the FA sells corporate tickets to cup finals at Wembley for hundreds of pounds so that a wealthy businessman and his mates who probably don’t even understand the offside rule can be wined and dined over football.
It is all just one big joke. Carlos Tevez is currently earning £32 million a year. Let’s break that one down. That’s around £2,666,666 a month, £615,000 a week, £87,000 a day, £3,600 an hour, £61 a minute, £1 a second. That means that, if Carlos Tevez got 9 hours sleep every night for a month, he would earn almost £1 million in his sleep.
Just imagine where all that money could go. Charity is something that immediately springs to mind. In fact, if the worlds top 3 highest paid footballers (Tevez, Messi, Ronaldo) put a third of their yearly salaries to charity, they would be giving over £23 million.
All you need to do is take a look at the previous summer transfer window to see the ridiculous sums of money flying about the modern game. Tens of millions was being spent by clubs on players no one had even heard of. Bang average players were moving for £50 million. It is an absolute mess.
Why on earth can’t the UK look up to countries like Spain and Germany for ticket prices? The reason everyone goes on about how good German fans are is because all the ones who actually care about the club aren’t priced out by greed.
Let’s be honest, the only good Premier League fans are the away fans. This is only because of the £30 price cap on away tickets for Premier League fans. You hardly ever see the famous Kop bouncing, or Old Trafford loud and proud, because half of the people there are tourists.
That may seem slightly harsh but that is what the big clubs in the Premier League are; they’re tourist clubs. People don’t go there because they care, they go there because it’s a day out, like visiting London and seeing Big Ben and the London Eye.
I want to see the passion return to football. I definitely don’t want to see fans wearing Liverpool/Man United half and half scarves and Liverpool fans shaking hands with Jose Mourinho, just some of the appalling scenes observed at Anfield on Saturday.
So, what needs to be done? Who knows what will work?
Many teams have tried boycotts, many fans have written to the FA, and many fans have protested, but the FA still refuse to listen.
Perhaps a huge protest march with thousands upon thousands of football fans needs to take place, or some sort of petition which could achieve a certain amount of signatures and be considered by parliament, who knows?
One thing I do know is that greed is ruining the beautiful game. The days of real passion, and affordable tickets are long gone, mainly in the Premier League.
Clueless owners take charge, the clueless FA observes, and the helpless fans sit and watch their club and their favourite pastime get snatched away from them.
It’s not football.
It’s Premier Greed.
What are your thoughts? What needs to be done? Let us know in the comments!