|[Blog] Final Day Switch the Tip of the Iceberg|
Written by slowerball on Friday, 25th Feb 2011 13:03
The Football League has switched all the final day Championship games to Saturday 7th May with 12.45pm kick-offs. This is just the tip of the iceberg.
Once again the football authorities and TV companies dictate to the football supporters. Having made these decisions/fixtures some considerable time ago, I realise that games are subject to rearrangement due to postponements and cup ties – was ever thus. But the final games of the season have now traditionally been played on the final Sunday, which for me adds to the drama - if our club is involved – of the end of the season, with play-off places and relegation (let’s hope for us it’s the former and not the latter) still to be decided. This switch is rather annoying and means that I cannot now go to this game, and my son isn’t a happy chap as we had already made the necessary arrangements. As fans that reside 250 miles away, perhaps we are just unlucky. However, I feel that there are wider issues here. This is yet another case of the tail wagging the dog as football supporters continue to be given a raw deal by TV, the FA, the Football League etc, but more importantly it's the TV companies that seem to rule fixtures and call the shots.
There seems to be more emphasis on the so-called supporters who sit on their backsides and watch games on the box. I am not saying that fans should attend every game, as we all have lives and the expense of going to watch live matches increases disproportionately every year. The one bright spark is the free to air games shown on the BBC. I recognise also that TV money has increased the wealth of clubs and the profile of the game, but with so many clubs running at a loss and ticket prices creeping up, have the fans really benefited? Is football at Portman Rd now better than it was before Sky? I would suggest not.
The big clubs in the Premier League can now afford to pay £100k per week plus for 'star' players, which has the knock on effect of 'ordinary' players thinking they are worth £50k per week, many of whom seem content to sit in the stand, watching the games whilst wearing a big scarf, with seemingly no intention of actually wanting to play, which accounts for the fact that a) we can’t get these players into our club on loan because they are too expensive and have no desire to play (despite it being a short career) and b) even average players wage demands (or perhaps the demands of agents!) are too restrictive for clubs like ours to even consider these players either as a loaned or a permanent transfer.
The result of this is that there are many good players who could do a great job in the Championship or at lesser clubs that ‘supporters’ are being denied because of the money in the game. I believe that the football industry needs to take at look at how it treats fans, especially where disposable income in the wider society continues to diminish as the cost of living increases. Wage increases don’t keep apace with inflation, if they increase at all, the threat of interest rates going up and further unemployment are predictable.
Should rich owners and the pay TV companies choose to withdraw their sponsorship, the bubble that surrounds football may very well burst. It is therefore all the more important to treat fans as paying customers and with the consideration and thought we so thoroughly deserve.
It would be nice to think that some of this media cash that is clearly sloshing about is going towards the direct benefit of the fans rather than towards the obscene transfer fees and wages that were very much evident in the last transfer window. I will now put my soapbox away go out and buy some batteries for my portable wireless in readiness for the 7th May.
Please report offensive, libellous or inappropriate posts by using the links provided.
Blogs by slowerball
Blogs 278 bloggers
Here We Go by tractorboykent
For a club recently described as Britain’s unhappiest, it may seem odd that Town fans are suddenly awash with optimism now that the deal is done.
One of the Strongest Squads? by NormEmerges
I keep hearing that ITFC has one of the strongest squads in League One. It’s certainly true that we have one of the biggest squads, but strongest? I would assume ‘strongest’ to mean ‘includes higher quality players for this league’. What do the facts tell us?
Tractor Boy on a Mission by wadey
As some of you may be aware, we lost our little boy Tyler on 1st April 2012, aged just 15 months old. There was no cause declared and he just passed away in his sleep. Since then, I’ve tried to raise as much money for charity in memory of him.
Damned Lies and Football Statistics? by bluesman
Football is possibly the most observed sport of all time, and there is plenty of statistical information available in the public domain to make some informed observations about clubs and managers, and their performance over the years.
From Marcus's Side of the Fence by essexccc
Most of the thinking, including my own, around the possible sale of the club, has quite naturally focused on the possibilities from the club's and supporters' points of view.