As the situations at Blackburn, Portsmouth and Rangers worsen - the need for a football revolution is greater than ever. Football clubs are too important to our communities to leave in the hands of private individuals who milk them dry and then scarper. Fans should take them back.
Big football clubs are just spoilt b*****ds really. They demand your attention, squeeze your affection dry and rarely give anything substantial back. They might have a good team for three years until a manager or star player moves on. But all in all we queue up to keep them the way they are; which is Giant Clubs as Huge Screaming Babies. Every fortnight tens of thousands of people for over a century have lined up to hand their money over and keep the clubs alive. It’s time the clubs were forced to give back.
Right now they are the corner stones of their communities in emotion and ritual and history only. Some other weasel always runs off with the profits. Football clubs should provide jobs, physical and health education, and exercise en masse, kids should get training there for free, people should be able to go there and learn. Gyms, five-a-side centres, small business clusters should all operate as part of them. They should be sporting clubs where the people who pay for them get to use them and be a part of them every day of the week. Instead they’re just the playthings of war criminals, money launderers, gangsters, pimps and thieves. The biggest surprise is that the Pope hasn’t bought one yet.
As it is the clubs spend less money a year supporting the community staff than they do on the third choice full-back they signed because the manager owed an agent a favour. In the bigger scheme of things these are just financial p**s drips shaken from the rotten cock of the clubs' owners. Not that most of the big club owners actually own the clubs anymore so much as manage the debt they incurred buying the team.
Meanwhile the star is banging prostitutes and the captain is taking more of the fans' money for guided tours and the winger is doing cocaine and the striker is up for grievous bodily harm on a woman and the manager is being investigated for fraud and the owner won’t admit he’s the owner because then he’ll have to admit his partners used to light cigars for Pol Pot. Right up there at the very top it is a rotten money business and a world away from the day-to-day lives of the fans who pay for it all.
Football clubs are just the playthings of war criminals, money launderers, gangsters, pimps and thieves. The biggest surprise is that the Pope hasn’t bought one yet.
Anyone who doesn’t see the need for some financial regulation, some levelling of the playing field is failing to see the state our national game is in. Over half the money generated by fans and media is going into the pockets of the players. They stick around for a few seasons and then take it out of the area and the game. Meanwhile the tiny clubs that used to scout and develop those players are perenially struggling. Generating long-term disappointment not hope amongst the supporters. And when the clubs go to the wall a hole is ripped in the community. Think about the Scarborough fans who lost their team. Or how strange it seemed seeing Luton playing Forest Green Rovers this season. But no-one really seems to care because we're all watching WAGS Boutique.
So many clubs fall beneath the toils of incompetent big-headed chairmen and owners. My club Leeds United did it spectacularly. And when the boardroom idiots move on to milk another club dry it’s the community that are left to support the shirt.
The FA has its 'fit and proper owners' test but given the goings on at Notts County, Man City under that Thai bloke and Portsmouth under the merry-go-round of owners it’s hard to tell where exactly they draw the line, maybe just past reception at Broadmoor. There are Russian gangsters walking round Spain who publicly predicted the UAE takeover of Manchester City when no-one saw it coming and are now claiming to own the club. If you want to read about the people moving into football don't read a football book read McMafia, the clearest insight into global crime going.
Remember the fans of Bournemouth and Brighton who tried to save their clubs with banners and buckets of change? Compare them to the p****s on the pitch who rock up for three years and walk away as millionaires.
Right now you need look no further than Stanley Park to know that football is such a big part of Liverpool’s fabric that both clubs should be community owned. The football clubs and the pop group are what Liverpool are world famous for. Would we hand over the British Museum to two short change merchants from America? No, so why do it with our sporting assets. Cities own art galleries and museums and libraries but how many times a fortnight do you see thirty thousand people queuing up to check out a book? But then again to look at the Premiership is to look at a filthy stinking pile of greed and short term ego.
Football’s too big to carry on so badly. Only the committee boys in blazers who fear change want to keep it like it is, and why not? After all they enjoy a gravy train of boardroom receptions, World Cup tickets and European jaunts on expenses.
In Germany they have structures that mean more clubs have won the Bundesliga over the last 10 years than in any other European League. Wouldn't it be great for football fans everywhere if West Brom, Fulham or Everton genuinely had a chance of winning the league? In baseball they have a luxury tax – where excessive money spent on players must be matched by money funneled back into the league – and basketball gives the lesser clubs the first pick of the next generation of college players.
The sad thing is the owners have the fans over a barrel. There’s nothing sadder and more ridiculous than seeing fans holding up cards or wearing scarves or turning their backs towards chairman INSIDE a stadium. Paying the people they despise so they can protest to them. In my mind that's not really the best way to force someone's hand. Until the fans go on strike or start or take over their own clubs like FC United, AFC Wimbledon or Lewes, football will only get worse and worse.
Level the playing field, give the clubs to the communities, we bailed out the banks, why can't we bail out something we’re passionate about?
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