Football (soccer) net

It remains a source of frustration to me that my kids support Liverpool. They’ve never been to a home game, and (I suspect) only chose them because they’re a good team in the Premier League, my wife being born there gave them an excuse, and my team (Sunderland) were doing terribly during their early years.

Of course, you can support whatever football team you like. But, as my mate Adam bangs on about all of the time, big money in football has corrupted the game.

[T]here are two concurrent developments taking place here. The first is the gradual realignment of fan hierarchy along the lines of one’s ability to pay: a development years in the making but now reaching a kind of tipping point amid rising prices and declining living standards. In his typically empathic and erudite way, Postecoglou was countering an argument that didn’t really exist. Nobody is discussing restricting access to foreign fans, who have always been able to rock up and buy a ticket. But in romanticising the devotion of the wealthy, amid price hikes that have enraged longstanding Spurs fans, Postecoglou offered up a justification that Daniel Levy and the corporate press office could scarcely have scripted more perfectly.

The other is the gradual erosion of the big club fanbase as a place of congregation and common ground. Broadening a fanbase also weakens it, weakens the ties that bind fans to each other, weakens their inclination to unite and organise. The mass of (mostly domestic-based) Manchester United fans resisting the sale of their club to a Qatari bidder were met by an equal and opposite wave of (mostly foreign-based) fans backing the Qatari bid. Meanwhile, how can we expect Chelsea fans to resist a future Super League if they can no longer even agree on whether Armando Broja is any good?

Source: The Guardian

Image: travis jones