Dark times right now for people in Britain facing another six months of misery, poverty, uncertainty, virus and death… And whilst the Premier League kicks on and continues regardless due to the huge financial incentives made through global TV the other less fortunate echelons of English football are set to suffer even more than before.
Fans or not, football goes on unaffected in the top tier in England with clubs smashing their records for fees paid on new players. Only today Wolves have splashed £37m on Barcelona right back Nelson Semedo. A right back! Yes £37,000,000… Yes from Barcelona… To Wolves!!!!
I still remember the days of Steve Bull and Andy Mutch… Fourth Division football under Graham Turner. God how things have changed.
So scrap the Premier League, we don’t care about that, they’ll be ok… Audiences in Saudi Arabia and the States will see to any cash problems they have… But what about the rest of us? Those clubs that don’t sell T-shirts in Malaysia and Singapore?
The Championship is a funny one… Kept afloat by the ‘need’ for promotion by those top sides loitering with intent on reaching the Premier League. The Playoff Final as we know is ‘the richest game in world football’… Like it or not the Championship goes on… Because it matters to the Premier League… But beyond that… Nothing does!
I heard a rumour the Carabao Cup was in its third round stage last night. Not concerned I continued to stream my subscription of Starzplay instead. I wasn’t bothered about Manchester United beating Luton in front of no-one or West Ham Reserves hammering Hull. It just seems to have lost all its importance… Cup ties used to be ‘magic’… not anymore.
League One and League Two have the biggest dilemma… Surely they are the first full divisions of teams that completely rely on gate attendance in order to survive? How they can go on not knowing when fans will return paying out on players and staff is beyond me? It just doesn’t make financial sense? It just doesn’t make sense full stop? The leagues carry on but nobody watches? Surely there’s not enough iFollow followers in the world to make it work?
The National League only yesterday delayed plans to start their season. The one football organisation with ‘common sense’.. The one football organisation that says ‘no to football without fans’. I bow down to the National League committee and clubs, they are in a mess, a huge mess but they know playing football without fans is not a) right and b) financially viable.
Those below that National League spectrum of tiers 5 and 6 of the football pyramid are also carrying on. Often with gates capped at 300 due to safety measures… These clubs often run at a loss in order to attempt make it to the top, these clubs rely on advertising, fans, rich chairman and sponsors just to make ends meat. How can it work that they play the game without maximising their income potential?
Whether lockdown restrictions tighten? Whether football carrys on as normal, adjusting to the governments every demand? I see only one thing to come out of it which is usually the case throughout the history of the game… The rich just get richer whilst those at the bottom still struggle.
Such in life the fact we are even talking about football when a global pandemic has seen the lives lost of near 1 million people… Whilst football carries on buying players by the multi million at the top… Dying out in the middle without atmosphere or care for those just passing eye on what happens within it and stretching every penny it has at the bottom with clubs carrying on like nothing’s happened step seven and below… The game is in a mess and we are about to blow a huge hole in the bubble that is sure to burst.
What can we do? It’s probably too late now… But I’ve always said football without fans is nothing, and that’s what football is becoming to those that cannot now go see their teams play.