10 April 2006

More Football Madness

Just occasionally on this blog I'll touch on a subject I know not a lot about but still have a passion for - football. Perhaps that's from being a Scouser!

Anyhow two stories today - both from the same club - demonstrate why football is increasingly disconnecting from the masses.

First is the Manchester United plan to increase season ticket prices by an AVERAGE of 12.5% next year. I wonder what the average fan thinks of that one? Coincidentally it happens at around the same time United are inreasing the capacity of their ground by a significant amount (over 10% I think).

On the same day, we're hearing of Wayne Rooney's gambling debts of £700,000. Not bad for someone who is not quite 20 years old yet (or maybe he's just that). Now, I like Wayne as a footballer - from the minute I saw him (as an admitted Evertonian) you could tell he could be truly special. But this is just crazy. Furthermore, it is another one of those things that actually is a negative to the England team which is increasingly dominated by individual issues and problems from the manager on down.

Of course, there are those who think this is just the free market at work. But IMHO, supporting football clubs is something you do for life based on a whole set of values. When that loyalty is exploited for money, and then furthermore, to see how that money is then stupidly spent, it is just insulting for the real fans. I hope the free market will indeed bite back. We need a much, much humbler football business in the UK and it is the big clubs that need to see that clearly if sanity and respect is to be restored.


Timbo said...

Ah, but then you get games like Boro 4 - 1 Basle, and Boro 4 - 2 Charlton, and with quite a few local lads too, and it warms your heart.

Ian Hobson said...

Thanks for stopping by. Indeed, Boro's achievements lately have been superb, and you must have enjoyed that. I had a similar experience with Everton last season.

Yes, that's why football is still compelling, but it seems that for most teams most of the time, there is little hope these days. The players are more important than the teams (at UK or national level), and it lives in a fantasy land.

The recent moves by the G14 super clubs would have condemned football in the UK to a super set of 3-4 UK clubs (we know who they are) and the rest. This lot get the rules changed (how else to account for Everton having to qualify for Champions League last year and then playing that match against Villareal who are now in the semi-finals?!). And how can 12.5% increase in prices (at ManU) be justified when inflation (and wage increases) are running at 2-3%?

That's why I'm sad for football's future and I think your experiences recently with Boro, and mine with Everton will be rarer and rarer. (I hope not though!)