Football in the Modern Age

It’s that time of year again where clubs start releasing new kits which can sometimes show very little difference to the previous kit. Sometimes it might be due to a change of sponsor, kit supplier or just that fact that the club has to make its money somehow and with some kit designs being used by the same kit maker to make strips for many teams the chances of one of your strips looking the same as another teams is very high (a case I point look at the similarities between the New England away kit and the Manchester United home kit.)

Now as a child I used to enjoy getting a new kit for Christmas every time it was changed, it used to be every couple of seasons and so I doubt my parents were too fussed (although I can’t say I have ever asked.) Now days however in the age of kits changing every year and the cost spiralling in some cases into 3 figure sums for a full kit I cant say I will be keen on doing the same. You have to ask how football as come to this? And whether it is in danger of pricing out the common fan?

After all clubs are getting more revenue than ever from TV rights, and sponsorship dictates everything from the players training tops to the name of the stadium itself in some cases. How can it be that with all the money coming in they still feel the need to hit the fans in the pocket with expensive match day tickets and merchandise? When you don’t see much change from £200 for two adults to go and see their team play, travel there and get some food you it is perhaps easier to understand why you so sometimes see empty parts of stands for even the highest ranked cubs.

One could argue that obviously with players demanding bigger transfer fees and wages that the clubs have to make their money somehow, and to an extent they have a point, but it is the clubs themselves who have forced wages and transfer fees up to a stupid amount. Why should the loyal fan who would love a chance to represent his team pay more for his ticket or his shirt because player X (who will probably leave at the end of the season) has decided he would like another 10k a week? Maybe the introduction of a wage cap is needed for the sake of the game. Also it might encourage teams to bring through the younger English talent that is currently festering away in youth team and reserve football thereby benefiting the national team. After all the purpose of all the clubs should be to serve the national side with the best talent available.

Everyone bangs on about the German structure surrounding their clubs where the fans are the majority shareholders and prices are as low as £7 for a match day ticket for a Bundesliga team and I think it’s a great idea, and me the premiership should take a look at introducing. Portsmouth who have had their financial troubles are now controlled by the fans, and they will make the choices from signing a player to the cost of match day tickets I think it will be a great acid test for English football to see if it can be done and I hope it’s successful, otherwise I see the future of English football for the average fan looking very bleak.

Ry

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