The beautiful game
I have been absent from my blog for too long – I have been rather caught up with family matters and this has kept me away. I have missed my daily rants – so I am back!
Anyone that knows me will be aware of my views on football – as a kid I followed it, but as it has ‘developed’ as a ‘sport’ I have become rather sceptical about it all. The game has become all about money and it has destroyed it for me totally. I wasn’t aware however just how expensive football had become (why would I – I never go), or how greedy the clubs were getting.
I read in today’s papers that the average cost of the cheapest adult ticket in the top four divisions of English football has risen by 11.7% – more than five times the rate of inflation. Even more shocking is that the highest cost matchday ticket is Arsenal at £126 (£25 up on last year!). Now Arsenal aren’t alone in this – but they are ‘the leader’.
The price of a season ticket at Arsenal? Just under £1000!
So, we are talking here about ‘the people’s game’, but it is just not accessible by the average family now as the costs are just getting stupid. And where does all this money go – one assumes to pay the players who are now so grossly overpaid at the top-level that it is obscene.
And don’t get me started on the England team…..
Those that know me will be aware that I am not a fan of ‘the beatiful game’ – it has become so dependant upon money that it is a pale imitation of the game I used to enjoy when I was a kid in the 1970’s. The first million pound transfer deal was done in Nottingham, so perhaps we (or Brian Clough) have to accept some of the blame? No doubt we are in for the usual pain over the next few weeks watching England at the European Championships as well!
It appears to me that FIFA are hell bent on destroying the game, first we have the goal line technology debacle – quite why one of the richest sports in the world can’t bring in something so simple is beyond me. I am told by those ‘who understand the game’ that it would cause a break in the flow of the game. However how this differs from the break in the flow when a player takes a dive is beyond me!
Today however I see that FIFA have excelled themselves – on two counts;
Firstly for the World cup in Brazil they have forced a change in the law to allow beer to be sold in the stadiums – something that has been banned in Brazil (one assumes for a reason) since 2003! The reason? Well according to FIFA beer is ‘all part of the world cup’ – presumably just as rioting, racism and violence are? Or is it because a beer company are one of the main sponsors? The statement by FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke says it all.
“Alcoholic drinks are part of the Fifa World Cup, so we’re going to have them. Excuse me if I sound a bit arrogant but that’s something we won’t negotiate,”
Secondly the referees in Brazil are to be instructed to red card any player that leaves the pitch due to racist chants or abuse – another great message to football fans the world over!
And people wonder why I am so cynical about football!