Coronavirus Diary 76 – Why does the government care more about rich football clubs than destitute workers?

It might be just me but as half the country and all of the charlatans in Downing Street nimbly jump from ‘greed is good’ to ‘lets stop greedy football clubs because it might win votes’, but I really couldn’t care less.   Ok, not too big a secret given that an old post of mine has had tens of thousands of views How football sounds to people that just don’t care

As 3 million people in #ExcludedUK are now well into their second year with no help whatsoever, it does rather highlight not just the ‘couldn’t give a sh!t’ness of the government but of the media too.

How can it be too hard to find a way to help 3 million destitute individuals whose taxes are all on computers and yet interfering in the affairs of six private football businesses, ran my very wealth businesspeople, all acting entirely within the law suddenly becomes the most pressing issue in the news?

Whilst I have no time for the billionaires who own our football clubs and believe each team should be owned by the fans and if needed local business-figures, in this instance they aren’t doing anything wrong.

If people are complaining about money, it’s a bit too late for that. Everyone had the chance to reject foreign ownership of football clubs. Back in the early 1990’s the English Premier League was all about greed and money for a select group of clubs and club owners as was the soon to be formed European Champions League.

And of course greed goes much further back, the foundations of the Football League in Victorian times is all because clubs and owners rightly thought they could make more money playing ever week than in the annual FA Cup and unofficial sporting events.

Whilst everything about the proposed European Superleague is an anathema to British and indeed European fans, it follows the standard practice of American sports franchises who put profit very firmly as their goal with none of the excitement of relegations. It’s all about the money.

The special link between English football fans and their teams was broken long ago when for example my team Newcastle United would have players working in the same heavy industries as the thousands who would watch them every Saturday afternoon. Now a weekly footballers wage could easily be more than a life-time salary of some people.

I’d say if the clubs want to play in the Superleague, let them bugger off and never let them back in, or their players either. To me watching football is all about local connections and local rivalries; I have no interest in watching my team playing one in another country let alone paying money to watch 2 teams I don’t support overseas. I’d rather watch two heated local rivalries at a lower professional level and then tease other supporters mercilessly the following week after they lost. If Chelsea beats Barcelona, who really cares? How many Barcelona fans is someone in London going to meet in their office on Monday morning or vice-versa?

It’s one of the many reasons I take little interest in football and prefer Rugby, Snooker, wrestling (maybe not real but the acting is better and the product more exciting) and especially Cricket. Even dull, boring, traditional cricket has its money obsession trying to ruin the game but thats ok, I don’t watch those modern games that are over in a few hours. If Cricket match is worth watching then it’s worth watching for 4-5 days!

Whilst football and sport generally is important to many people, it’s hard to match up how nothing is too much effort for the government to thwart the plans of the football teams who are entitled to do what they please and the absolute desire to ethnically-cleanse private citizens who have been begging for help for over a year and who can be helped in an instant.

About Stephen Liddell

I am a writer and traveller with a penchant for history and getting off the beaten track. With several books to my name including a #1 seller, I also write environmental, travel and history articles for magazines as well as freelance work. Recently I've appeared on BBC Radio and Bloomberg TV and am waiting on the filming of a ghost story on British TV. I run my own private UK tours company (Ye Olde England Tours) with small, private and totally customisable guided tours run by myself!
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4 Responses to Coronavirus Diary 76 – Why does the government care more about rich football clubs than destitute workers?

  1. Ankur Mithal says:

    Agree Stephen. It is business and entertainment, not sport. The excitement is manufactured. You are a good fan only as long as you buy the goodies.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I could go as a boy to watch a First Division game (before the Premier League) for £3-£5. Tickets to someone like Tottenham are over £80 now and then a modern day family will expect to have drinks and snacks so it could be £300-£500 just for a football match for 4 people. A whole day of cricket with Middlesex even at Lords can still be found for £5 for adults and free for children. It sounds excellent value in the modern world.

      Like

  2. Contractions of Fate says:

    I never cared about soccer, and I watch rugby only slightly more. As a Welshman, I would support any team other than England. Except maybe West Germany. Or Germany as it is now. My English friends don’t get it. They almost understand me supporting Wales against England, just about. But they just don’t get why I would support Scotland, Ireland or France if they were playing England! They think it’s close to treason! I’d even support the Basques!

    “Mae’n gyrion Celtaidd, cymar!”

    I’d even support the All Blacks! There is no greater joy for a Welshman than to see England get hammered in a soccer or rugby match! We don’t care who does the hammering! We prefer it if it’s us, but almost anyone will do! Almost!

    I read your “How football sounds to people that just don’t care” blog. So funny, so Alternate Universe! “Not a late paleolithic era supporter are you?” ROFLMAO!

    Oh, how I wish there was more archaeology! I have to content myself with certain specialist YouTube channels and Time Team. For me, antiques would have been much more boring, but it would be hard to write a funny blog based on that! And not quite so bizarre!

    But, yeah, I suppose Boris thinks that stopping British teams leaving the Premier Division or whatever it’s called and moving to a European Super League might be a vote winner. But an awful lot of people have soccer as their religion, so it might work. Plus there are whatever taxes soccer teams pay. But he’s got his priorities screwed up. There has to be a way for the self-employed and sole traders to pay something while they are working so that they can receive benefits in situations like this. I mean, you paid income tax and national insurance? They invented the furlough system for employees quickly enough.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Being nominally English I do support all the other British teams lol and sometimes support Wales in the rugby over England. But then I have always also supported Germany when England aren’t playing which can make life interesting sometimes. I miss having new Time Team programmes, that was a very special and unique show and nothing else quite comes close. I do like getting into mischief poking my nose around and looking for old bits and pieces from old cultures. Yes I paid all my tax and national insurance and I always overpay so as not to get one of those letters, never been wrong in 7 years. Amazing to think that rich Premier League clubs got money from the government for furlough schemes and people like me have had nothing. Talking of antiques, I do like Bargain Hunt. Sometimes though I watch it and wonder if the contestants have never watched it before. The rubbish they overpay their money on which then always results in a big loss 🙂

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