Date: 28th July 2018 at 1:56pm
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Football, world-wide, survives on money that has created a bigger budget than many small nations (pretty much). The snow-balling increase in every financial aspect to do with the sport is truly mind blowing. Football appears to have become ‘an empire unto itself’. One has to wonder how sustainable it all is.

Long gone are the days when a footballers’ maximum wage was 100 pounds per week. And that’s fair enough because the top players certainly deserved more. Every day, the survivors of the 60/61 ‘Double’ team must regret being born too early or not being recognised for their true worth.

In 1962 Jimmy Greaves was ‘almost’ the first 100 thousand pound footballer. That amount of money would not even buy a chronically ungifted player these days (probably).

Given the continual and rapid financial growth in all aspects of football, which appear to be spiralling out of control, it seems to me that at some stage in the future the football bubble has to burst.

It has already surpassed the point where many grass-roots supporters, the people that the game was created to entertain, can no longer afford the match-day experience. Any football ‘outsider’ could be forgiven for thinking that administrators have created a beast that will eventually become their downfall.

Surely there must come a time when only a handful of clubs in all of the major leagues will be capable of having the financial resources to compete for trophies. Surely the vast majority of lower and mid-table clubs in every major league will slowly disappear from the face of the earth as, one by one, they sink into the abyss of liquidation. Surely there has to be some kind of financial ceiling to prevent this before it happens; some kind of realistic control. Surely it cannot continue along the road it is currently travelling. Can it?

It seems to me that the administrating bodies of world football do not realise that they are creating a situation in which the sport is playing with a deflated ball. At what point will people start to understand that the obscene amount of money going into football could be of far greater benefit if directed at more needful issues affecting humanity.

Or, is it simply a matter of human greed where ‘the few’ seize the opportunity to accumulate wealth and power without any thought of the future or the well-being of others?

Just a thought! What do you think, VS?


63 Replies to “Playing With A Deflated Ball.”

  • The cost of attending a spurs match now is close to £100 (seat transport program drink and food)
    For me as a pensioner it is maybe once or twice season that I may be able to attend.
    There is no doubt that the bubble will burst !

  • Wisdom shows me everything is impermanence, so yes it will continue to change and will eventually fade away. Will it be in my era,,probably jot, but mark it words it will happen, it will continue to change and then fall away its just a matter of WHEN. However it could well be a very long time, but observe everything has a lifespan. Look at the experience of shopping, first it was street stalls, then it was small corner shops, then small rows of shops, then bigger shops, supermarkets, now its heading to online shopping with small street stalls non existent, corner shops gone and less and less small shops but shopping still continues because we need food, but the question is will we need football in then long run? My guess is it will continu3 to change until its not attractive anymore, probably when new generations don’t find it so appealing. Before it ceases there will be many changes, some we can’t imagine at this time, some we can and can predict. I would say it will be around for some time yet but it will all cease eventually, its called the law of impermanence. Governments change, i predict one say we ant have government the country will be run in a different way, if we don’t kill each other or blow ourselves up first. Sport should jot have become a business, if it has stayed as a sport and players were paid a normal wage and therefore fans could afford to pay to watch then it would have been better. But then i think the whole way life runs is lopsided, weird and stupid and makes no sense. We live in capitalism, consumerism and greed, and the things in life that i feel should be freely enjoyed are exploited into making money. Sport is a way to stay fit, be part of a team, group and should be free and not a business. Then again im not into capitalism, consumerism, im into world peace and simple life. So what do i know. I just observe everything has its day.

  • Geofspurs…..another well written article, “human greed where the few seize the opportunity to accumulate wealth and power” never a truer word, completely agree.

    Football the “working mans game” the word “was” missed there, they want it to be family orientated, bleedin hell how many families of the working class can afford to go as a family these days. COYS

  • Geofspurs…..having read your very good article again and then reading LoZ’s post, me thinks a very political can of worms can/maybe opened here, lol! COYS

  • Its a valid question, is the current business model sustainable ? You’ve got to divide up the three revenue streams (TV, Commercial and Match Day) as they don’t necessarily follow the same pattern. TV money in the UK has already peaked, Sky and BT paid a little less on the new deal than they had on the previous one. On the other hand overseas revenue is still growing and Amazon dipped its toe in this time. So no idea where that’s going. Commercial revenue is probably the dodgiest area. PSG and City’s revenue is whatever they want it to be, Bayern seem to have an unhealthy relationship with German business which ensures they will always have a lot more commercial income than any other German club. For most clubs commercial revenue is tied to long term success, the more successful you are as a club the bigger a slice of the pie you get. The size of the pie depends on the business cycle, when economies are doing well business will have spare cash, in a recession there will be a lot less available. So to figure out commercial revenue you need to be able to predict the economy. Matchday revenue is simply income from tickets and related revenue (programmes, refreshments etc). Its been a relatively small share of revenue for a while now but does vary a lot from club to club, a couple of years ago 30% of Arsenal’s revenue was matchday but only 9% of City’s. Its the only part of a club’s revenue that is paid directly by supporters and as geofspurs has pointed out ticket prices have increased so much many of those supporters are priced out. The reason for that though is demand, when clubs aren’t selling out games they freeze ticket prices for however many years it takes for demand to pick up. What I’d maybe question is whether money is everything. If it was how did Leicester win the title ? how have we got to where we are over the past few seasons ? The other question is are things set in stone ? The new stadium effectively moves us up the food chain. I’ve always argued that if they could get their act together for long enough Crystal Palace with the best catchment area in the country could build a club as big as us or Arsenal. In reality money has always played a part in football, I can’t really see that changing any time soon.

  • Forgot to add I/we used to play in the backyard/street with a deflated ball, couldn’t afford a pump lol. COYS

  • jod … I see that but one of my concerns is, as I said, around the lower and mid-table teams. Football seems to be going in the direction of Darwin’s ‘natural selection’ where only the most affluent clubs can survive. What will happen to the others? Will the top teams in every league continue to dominate as they do now. Scottish football basically had only two clubs for decades, as far as the football world was concerned. Who knows? I don’t!

  • The Law Of impermanence is a Buddhist thought and ideal. It suggests that because the world is ever changing and all things will come to pass, we should simply relax and embrace it…

    And so we should basically move with the changes be comfortable with them and just accept all such change as inevitable.

    From the day that THFC became a limited company way back in the 1890’s it has been a business in the form of a professional, moneymaking football club.

    THFC supporters have being witness change after change, year after year, ever since…

    I will myself always continue to embrace Spurs and all football without ill-regard for the wealth it now generates… There are always the greedy and the non-greedy, regardless of the sums involved.

    And when Captain Hugo lifts his first THFC trophy next May, my excitement will be as it was when I first watched them play back in the 1960’s…

    But, I shall be long gone by the time the new stadium has crumbled and the World Cup is being played as the Inter-Galactic Trophy, somewhere out there in a galaxy far, far away… And when the Earth is no longer turning.

    Football Forever! Spurs rule, okay!

    Said the preacher to the converted….

  • PY …. When I played for the school I never headed the ball. Not sure if you are of an age to remember those heavy (even heavier when it was raining) leather balls with laces. If I’d thought about it at the time I would have deliberately deflated the ball to make it header-friendly. That stayed with me all my life because, as a striker, I rarely scored with my head …. I had to use my head in other ways. lol

  • HT …. That’s all true. As they say, the only constant is change (which, I believe, isn’t strictly true). The trouble is, that ‘change’ could be for better or worse. Only hindsight will determine which it is. In the meantime …. ?

  • Geofspurs – I understand what you are saying but you do seem to assume a static universe where nothing ever changes. The reality is football changes all the time. London clubs have grown at the expense of Northern clubs as people have moved to the South East. Different country’s football rises and falls in the European pecking order over time. Individual clubs are more or less successful depending on how they are run, we are seeing that at Spurs. Success generates extra revenue, failure means less revenue. FFP limits the ability of clubs to artificially inflate revenues. There is clearly a pyramid, there always has been a pyramid. But its about living within your means and running your club properly, again it always has been.

  • jod …. I agree with you. The only point I’m making about change, as my last comment said, is that it can be for better or worse. For the top clubs, change will probably be good, at least for a fair while. For clubs like Villa, Preston, Sunderland, etc, maybe not so good. Fortunately our management has chosen to pursue a direction that has put our immediate future (and probably long term future) on a very solid foundation.

    This article just reflects some thoughts I had this morning and I wondered what others think about it. I wouldn’t bother except there are around 20/30 fairly regular posters who usually come up with interesting and thought provoking comments …. you, obviously, being one of them.

  • That’s it jod.

    Even though soccer, in it’s early, organised and amateur form was taken up and followed readily by the working classes up and down the country. At the same time, in official circles it was first recognised by the uppercrust as a sport for gentleman, as the posh would have probably called it. Developed on the playing fields of Eaton blah blah… As with rugger…

    And as with all organised sport around the world it has seen it’s ups and downs. Its boom times and it’s’ not so great times…

    Hooliganism in British football in the 60’s,70’s, 80’s for instance was a lot more ugly than let’s say; Neymar’s transfer fee and wages. The vast sums involved now can seem somewhat obscene but, there are still plenty that can afford to watch it in the stadiums, as well as the many unfortunate ones that can’t…

    If there is ever to be a great almighty bust, then I imagine that there will still be some grassroots level in which it will continue to thrive and perhaps rebuild itself from…..

    The sport itself is said to have it’s origins from a couple of thousand and more years back. So I think it’s probably good for another couple of millenniums or so from the present, in one form or another… But most probably not as we know it today…

  • Nice social article Geof. I for one, at the age of 66, find it hard to comprehend the vast amount of money made by players today. Even the lowest paid PL player probably makes about £15k a week. Really? How does that compare to what we pay teachers, who by-the-way have a far more important job. It is the same in any sphere of entertainment, Sports, Movies, music, art, party organizers, etc. we as humans seem to prefer to put our monetary resources towards things which bring us pleasure or excitement rather than building strong foundations and improving the well being of others in less fortunate circumstances, activities which lead to long term well being, peace and happiness.

  • I’m completely with both yourself jvd and Loz on peace and happiness, etc. But, in a capitalist society and in a greedy world, it is all about generating income and wealth. And, unfortunately nurses and the police force, the fire brigade etc are not money makers… Lifesaving is not such good business these days. Was it ever?

    Football however generates the massive income which can then pay up, as it now does. As with all the popular arts and entertainment industry… And, they are called industries…

    But, we do actually have a choice as supporters. For instance. I’ll not complain about the price of a THFC replica shirt, as my simple choice is simply not to buy one. My support will be no more or no less, without one…

    The worlds a mad, mad place full of mad and wonderful people. It always has been and, it aint about to get any saner…

  • Everything that exist is in a state of flux, chamging on levels we cannot always see, feel or know but its all changing and all forms eventually disappear, will football eventually disappear, i think so. I personally think leagues will get smaller, that will be the decline manifesting, lower leagues want be able to compete, will fold like many businesses do, and as i said eventually when new generations want be so obsessed, find it so appealing football will come to an end, i really do think everything has a lifespan that is permanent. As for whether the changes that are continually occurring with football can be for the better or worse, that is a perspective of the mind, nothing inherently exists, our minds projects good and bad on everything imo. Basically it is what it is and what we think and feel about it is our projections. But on a more conventional level, football is no longer affordable for the everyday family and that is a shame. I’m out of touch anyway being homebound of 7 years, i squerm at the cost of a latte or a pizza people tell me they pay, so i expect i would find the cost of going to a match too much to comprehend, but i know how much money is in football and i can’t see it lasting as a viable business forever. Maybe one change that will start to occur is less attendances and more people watching on tv! On the other hand i don’t have enough skill or knowledge to understand the economy and wealth there is i this country, world, so i can’t really say how long will football will be a sustainable business. It could last for decades, there are always people with money, its a matter of what they want to spend it on. I try not to get too involved in the ways of the world, including football and its huge amount of money, j just focus o the game, the love of the game, because that is what i love, the actual game. But i do think one day it will all end and be replaced by something else. Probably robotic football.

  • Jvd well said. Nice comments here. We can only bring change by starting with ourselves, it’s a long haul process. While i watch highlights, listen on radio as much as my health allows, i don’t bug into anything else, i live my life as a minimalist with peace, love a top priority and do my best to help others, but i still, love the game and spurs.

  • HT …. I agree with you that football at grass-roots level is here to stay. It’s part of the culture. No form of change can affect the hold that football has over most of the world. Kids will always play football, so will social teams, amateur teams, pub teams, minor leagues, etc. As for the future, I think there might come a time when football at the highest point might have to re-invent itself. Maybe?!

  • Loz …. There may well come the day when ‘robotic football’ is watched by 60,000 robotic spectators! But, as HT suggests, anyone living in a far away galaxy will still be able to watch the game on some kind of screen. Mind you, it will be cheaper to find players …. you’d just build your own to a specific design.

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