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Nobodys Perfect

Has football finally reached the tipping point?

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Can''t help but notice the overall decline in crowd figures across the leagues for the start of this season. While our own crowds are very healthy, there must a few eyebrows being raised about just why they haven''t been selling out at Carrow Road. Man City against Liverpool the other night was nowhere near a sellout, Newcastle, for their first home game back in the Prem was I believe, 7-8000 below capacity. Wigan (yes I know) on Sunday against Chelsea had vast swathes of empty seats. There''s top players on view at these matches. You cannot pin it all down to holidays, I think the combination of this recession we''ve had (having) and in my view more likely, the fallout from our World Cup "efforts" is finally bringing the chickens home to roost. In short, a lot of people have had enough of paying through the snout to watch overpaid foreigners fall over and are voting, at last, with their feet.

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The recession will of course affect attendances, as will the World Cup, attendances are often lower the season after one.The Man City v Liverpool game was a sell out the other day, but the low attendance at St James'' Park is surprising. Attendances normally pick up towards the end of the season as the games start to take on more meaning and people regain their love of football. With Sky saying they are selling more Sky Sports packages than ever I don''t think people''s attitudes towards football has waned.

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Id go the other way and say that interest is falling away fast. The fact that two of the promoted sides have already been thumped 6-0 can not help things.

Long gone are the days when a team outside the big 3 can win anything without getting a billionaire backer.

Football is dieing on its feet and frankly I am almost past caring for a game I once loved so much.

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Agree with Ren.

The game isn''t, and I fear I am going to sound like one of the "in my day" brigade here, what it once was.

Explain? OK. Well, for a start, it was, for a long time, just that. A game. The football was for the football''s sake, it revolved around the clubs, the players, the games, the competitions, and, vitally, when they were just that-competitions, not, as now, a virtual "closed shop" to all but the biggest, mightiest, and most in debt.

The game has expanded so much, it is, and has become, to paraphrase a song title, football will eat itself. Sky and their cohorts have turned it into a full on media event, no little incident is left unexamined, everything is scrutinised to the n''th degree;ex-players have become celebrities in more ways than one, the game itself is surrounded by celebrity and glitter, most of it tasteless and vulgar. Sky costs, costs of tickets are pricing a lot of people out of the game, and, to watch the game, you''d better have a season ticket...

Transfer speculation and gossip is an industry in itself, fed by the twin fuels o media and agents, Sky are preparing to spend a whole day to the "deadline", they will have reporters "out and about" and focus on nothing more than speculation and claimed sightings at training grounds.

In this country, the Champions League takes precedence above anything and everything, and you''d better believe it, that European Super League will be here before 2020.

The League Cup is on its last legs, and the FA Cup is frequently won by one of the "big four" who do so most years, despite trying their level best not to do so in all of the early rounds.

And I could go on and on and on, and we all could.

Football has reached saturation point, it feeds the wealthy and the trough remains full. Steadily, slowly, however, people can, and will, get bored with it all, and seek something else that is maybe a little more pure, simple, and easy on the eye and mind-just as football was once, a long time ago! Should it continue in its present form, it certainly will die on its feet, and I, for one, don''t think I will give a damn for anyone and any club involved as and when it does...because maybe it needs to.

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I suppose you have to look at how the professional game will be in ''X'' number of years.  My guess is the Premier League will be stagnant.  The 15 (roughly) teams will be owned by billionaires and their companies.  And each will have the right to negotiate their own deals for the TV.  The crowds watching won''t exist, games will just be played out in front of cameras, reporters and commentators, because you''ll be able to watch every single game the teams play  on SKY.  As each team will have their own channel.Where will it leave all the other teams?  Broke, semi-pro, and forced to play at times when the Big 15 are not on SKY.

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I''d agree with most of what has been written above. Were I not a fan of a "proper" club like Norwich,then I doubt if I''d have any interest in Football remaining these days. Time was I''d take an interest in the goings on in the Premiershite,but really these days I really couldn''t give a stuff how many Chelsea,MoanUre Arse etc have won by, or how many points the promoted team from last season is adrift at the foot of the table. "Dull" does not even cover it. Both the FA Cup and Carling Cup have become a farce. At least there is some semblance of interst in the Championship and below.

 

I live in France close to the Spanish border,and in both those countries it''s the same. No-one other than Barca or Real Madrid will ever win La Liga again. Slightly wider in France,but can anyone see any team other than OL, OM or Girondins (plus very possibly PSG) winning Le Championnat ?

 

Hopefully,the fiasco that was the World Cup (all of it) has hopefully set alarm bells ringing in one or two of Football''s hallowed portals,but I would not wager a lot on anything much happening now that the TV companies have their collective snouts in the trough. Maybe they will kill football like they killed Snooker?

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[quote user="Ren"]Id go the other way and say that interest is falling away fast. The fact that two of the promoted sides have already been thumped 6-0 can not help things.

Long gone are the days when a team outside the big 3 can win anything without getting a billionaire backer.

Football is dieing on its feet and frankly I am almost past caring for a game I once loved so much.[/quote]Just about sums it up for me too…

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[quote user="Felixfan"]The attendance figures will still set a new modern record this season.[/quote]Interesting statement - on the evidence of August, how can you back it up ?

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[quote user="ſilly ſauſage"]I suppose you have to look at how the professional game will be in ''X'' number of years.  My guess is the Premier League will be stagnant.  The 15 (roughly) teams will be owned by billionaires and their companies.  And each will have the right to negotiate their own deals for the TV.  The crowds watching won''t exist, games will just be played out in front of cameras, reporters and commentators, because you''ll be able to watch every single game the teams play  on SKY.  As each team will have their own channel.

Where will it leave all the other teams?  Broke, semi-pro, and forced to play at times when the Big 15 are not on SKY.


[/quote]

Agree with most of your sentiments but if you think that attendances will drain away to NIL then Sky and the club owners will long since have jacked it in. No crowd = no ''product'' for Sky. Even they would have no interest in covering a sport with no crowd and no atmosphere!  

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[quote user="Yellow Rider"]

[quote user="ſilly ſauſage"]I suppose you have to look at how the professional game will be in ''X'' number of years.  My guess is the Premier League will be stagnant.  The 15 (roughly) teams will be owned by billionaires and their companies.  And each will have the right to negotiate their own deals for the TV.  The crowds watching won''t exist, games will just be played out in front of cameras, reporters and commentators, because you''ll be able to watch every single game the teams play  on SKY.  As each team will have their own channel.Where will it leave all the other teams?  Broke, semi-pro, and forced to play at times when the Big 15 are not on SKY.

[/quote]

Agree with most of your sentiments but if you think that attendances will drain away to NIL then Sky and the club owners will long since have jacked it in. No crowd = no ''product'' for Sky. Even they would have no interest in covering a sport with no crowd and no atmosphere!  

[/quote]With their TV stranglehold on it, they seem to be single-minded about turning cricket into both...

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[quote user="blahblahblah"][quote user="Felixfan"]The attendance figures will still set a new modern record this season.[/quote]Interesting statement - on the evidence of August, how can you back it up ?[/quote]This prompted me to look up the figures since the capacity increase. Assuming one can trust wiki. I should say I THINK these are league-only figures as opposed to including cup games (of which we don''t seem to have had many anyway...). But cup games would not skew the averages that much:

2009–10 (League One) : 24,755
2008–09 (Champ): 24,542
2007–08 (Champ): 24,527
2006–07 (Champ): 24,544
2005–06 (Champ): 24,833
2004–05 (PL): 24,350---
In other words, astonishingly consistent no matter which divison we were in, and how we were doing in that division. The highest average actually came in a disapppinting season in the Championship, rather than in the PL or winning League One. Bizarrely, the lowest was in the PL.I''m not sure what these figures tell us in terms of the current debate about ticket prices, except that obviously the policy in place - up until now - has kept rejuvenating the fan base. The implication, though, is that if we have a nondescript season AND attendances fall it won''t be because we''ve had a nondescript season. That hasn''t happened in the past. It will be because a policy shift has driven fans away.

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[quote user="Yellow Rider"]

[quote user="ſilly ſauſage"]I suppose you have to look at how the professional game will be in ''X'' number of years.  My guess is the Premier League will be stagnant.  The 15 (roughly) teams will be owned by billionaires and their companies.  And each will have the right to negotiate their own deals for the TV.  The crowds watching won''t exist, games will just be played out in front of cameras, reporters and commentators, because you''ll be able to watch every single game the teams play  on SKY.  As each team will have their own channel.Where will it leave all the other teams?  Broke, semi-pro, and forced to play at times when the Big 15 are not on SKY.

[/quote]

Agree with most of your sentiments but if you think that attendances will drain away to NIL then Sky and the club owners will long since have jacked it in. No crowd = no ''product'' for Sky. Even they would have no interest in covering a sport with no crowd and no atmosphere!  

[/quote]It''s just my thoughts on a possible future.  But you won''t need a live crowd if instead of purchasing a season ticket at the club. Your season ticket was a year''s subscription to the Arsenal (or A N Other) channel on SKY where you can see every home game.  Or a super Sky season ticket where you can see the away games also.Say Norwich had a channel on Sky which showed every home game starting from next season.  I bet a fair number of ST holders would jack them in, in exchange for viewing them at home.

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[quote]It''s just my thoughts on a possible future.  But you won''t need a live

crowd if instead of purchasing a season ticket at the club. Your season

ticket was a year''s subscription to the Arsenal (or A N Other) channel

on SKY where you can see every home game.  Or a super Sky season ticket

where you can see the away games also.[/quote]Arsenal already show every game that isn''t on Sky on Arsenal TV online.  But they get sell-out crowds for every game.  It''s at our end of the market where drop-off is more likely.  It''s a good test for Smith & Jones, will they hang around when the game is less fashionable ?

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[quote user="ſilly ſauſage"][quote user="Yellow Rider"]

[quote user="ſilly ſauſage"]I suppose you have to look at how the professional game will be in ''X'' number of years.  My guess is the Premier League will be stagnant.  The 15 (roughly) teams will be owned by billionaires and their companies.  And each will have the right to negotiate their own deals for the TV.  The crowds watching won''t exist, games will just be played out in front of cameras, reporters and commentators, because you''ll be able to watch every single game the teams play  on SKY.  As each team will have their own channel.

Where will it leave all the other teams?  Broke, semi-pro, and forced to play at times when the Big 15 are not on SKY.


[/quote]

Agree with most of your sentiments but if you think that attendances will drain away to NIL then Sky and the club owners will long since have jacked it in. No crowd = no ''product'' for Sky. Even they would have no interest in covering a sport with no crowd and no atmosphere!  

[/quote]

It''s just my thoughts on a possible future.  But you won''t need a live crowd if instead of purchasing a season ticket at the club. Your season ticket was a year''s subscription to the Arsenal (or A N Other) channel on SKY where you can see every home game.  Or a super Sky season ticket where you can see the away games also.

Say Norwich had a channel on Sky which showed every home game starting from next season.  I bet a fair number of ST holders would jack them in, in exchange for viewing them at home.
[/quote]

I really hope you are wrong but you do wonder in particular for the big clubs when the monster of negotiating their own TV deals will arrive. Personally I don''t see the point of watching all of your teams games on tele. You don''t get the same buzz and banter as you do attending the game. I think football will be dead if that is ever the case because the atmosphere would be sterile with no passion. Which is ultimately what football feeds off.

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[quote user="Andy Larkin"][quote user="Ren"]Id go the other way and say that interest is falling away fast. The fact that two of the promoted sides have already been thumped 6-0 can not help things.

Long gone are the days when a team outside the big 3 can win anything without getting a billionaire backer.

Football is dieing on its feet and frankly I am almost past caring for a game I once loved so much.[/quote]Just about sums it up for me too…[/quote]

Looks like you and I have found some common ground at last, Mr Larkin.

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One of two things need to happen. Either a big club like Man Utd or Liverpool go into financial meltdown which is a real possibility with the size of their debts. Or the so called big clubs do one and join a Euro Super League. I would be very happy with either circumstance.

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A has been suggested, there is an overwhelming need for a ''big club'' to crash and burn.

It happened with Leeds. But back then, it was considered a ''one-off'', it wouldn''t happen again.

I feel we''re not a million miles away from a Liverpool collapse in the style of Leeds. For a number of reasons, I await their fall with baited breath. It may just save English football...

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[quote user="Shyster"][quote user="Andy Larkin"][quote user="Ren"]Id go the other way and say that interest is falling away fast. The fact that two of the promoted sides have already been thumped 6-0 can not help things.

Long gone are the days when a team outside the big 3 can win anything without getting a billionaire backer.

Football is dieing on its feet and frankly I am almost past caring for a game I once loved so much.[/quote]Just about sums it up for me too…[/quote]Looks like you and I have found some common ground at last, Mr Larkin.[/quote]Now that is a worry… but yes it does. I can be non-partisan when it suits me!

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I completely agree with the general tone of these comments. Football in this country is now in the complete control of Sky with the fixtures adjusted so that they virtually have a game to cover every day. I find most premiership games fairly boring and all we get is hype, hype, hype. Saw some figures the other day where Man City squad cost 325 million, Blackpool''s 2 million. So after a couple of games we can already say Man City will finish in top four, Blackpool in bottom four. Blackpool/West Brom etc are just making up the numbers.

Watched Man City v Liverpool on Monday on the box. Very average game and Liverpool showed little fight or enthusiasm and were 3-0 down. This was a Liverpool comprising a team of 11 (I think full internationals) costing over 200 million. The commentator said Liverpool had no hope of making a challenge this year unless they secured more investment !!! Most of the foreign players here are just going thro the motions picking up ridiculous salaries etc which filters thro to the lower leagues ending up with us paying large increases to watch the Canaries this year. Whilst this trend continues the English national team will barely survive. How many young players have we got coming thro ???

The financing of football is now proceeding exactly as the property crash. Massive amounts of borrowings which cannot be serviced by income will eventually boil over and as someone stated meltdown in many cases is nigh.

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[quote user="vos"] The financing of football is now proceeding exactly as the property crash. Massive amounts of borrowings which cannot be serviced by income will eventually boil over and as someone stated meltdown in many cases is nigh.[/quote]

Spot on analysis Vos.

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They say we all ''turn into our fathers'' in time... which is fair enough but I''m not too sure about this having sex with your mother lark.....

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Live televised games will kill football clubs soon, whats the point of going to watch big games at big prices when its on TV?

And then theres the internet as well to consider.

The golden goose has become egg bound.

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Interesting debate...Sky have started turning the screw on pubs showing football as well with the intent of either getting more cash or forcing footy fans to stop watching for free and to take out their own subscriptions.

They put the Traffords subs up to £18,000 [:|] per year so they''ve dropped it and believe others have done the same.

If it wasn''t for the Ashes coming up I''d probably drop Sky at home and use MotD etc

 

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[quote user="Norfolkn Good"]

Interesting debate...Sky have started turning the screw on pubs showing football as well with the intent of either getting more cash or forcing footy fans to stop watching for free and to take out their own subscriptions.

They put the Traffords subs up to £18,000 [:|] per year so they''ve dropped it and believe others have done the same.

If it wasn''t for the Ashes coming up I''d probably drop Sky at home and use MotD etc

 

[/quote]Yeah, I saw this - it''s really poor.  £3,000 increase on last year!http://www.eveningnews24.co.uk/content/eveningnews24/norwich-news/story.aspx?brand=ENOnline&category=News&tBrand=ENOnline&tCategory=xNews&itemid=NOED30%20Jul%202010%2015%3A38%3A59%3A963

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No, what has happened is that it has split in two. Old football that most of us traditionalists remember, most clubs operate in and would like to return to & New Football funded by Sky & a clutch of billionaires and largely played by a half dozen or so clubs in the North West and London.

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[quote user="Mister Chops"][quote user="Norfolkn Good"]

Interesting debate...Sky have started turning the screw on pubs showing football as well with the intent of either getting more cash or forcing footy fans to stop watching for free and to take out their own subscriptions.

They put the Traffords subs up to £18,000 [:|] per year so they''ve dropped it and believe others have done the same.

If it wasn''t for the Ashes coming up I''d probably drop Sky at home and use MotD etc

 

[/quote]Yeah, I saw this - it''s really poor.  £3,000 increase on last year!http://www.eveningnews24.co.uk/content/eveningnews24/norwich-news/story.aspx?brand=ENOnline&category=News&tBrand=ENOnline&tCategory=xNews&itemid=NOED30%20Jul%202010%2015%3A38%3A59%3A963[/quote]More places are going to risk doing it illegally aren''t they?  Who''s actually going to go the boozer watch the match and then report them for no ''sky glass''.

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[quote user="ſilly ſauſage"][quote user="Mister Chops"][quote user="Norfolkn Good"]

Interesting debate...Sky have started turning the screw on pubs showing football as well with the intent of either getting more cash or forcing footy fans to stop watching for free and to take out their own subscriptions.

They put the Traffords subs up to £18,000 [:|] per year so they''ve dropped it and believe others have done the same.

If it wasn''t for the Ashes coming up I''d probably drop Sky at home and use MotD etc

 

[/quote]Yeah, I saw this - it''s really poor.  £3,000 increase on last year!http://www.eveningnews24.co.uk/content/eveningnews24/norwich-news/story.aspx?brand=ENOnline&category=News&tBrand=ENOnline&tCategory=xNews&itemid=NOED30%20Jul%202010%2015%3A38%3A59%3A963[/quote]More places are going to risk doing it illegally aren''t they?  Who''s actually going to go the boozer watch the match and then report them for no ''sky glass''.[/quote]I imagine Sky will cosy up with "the law" and make checks on pubs, causing fines and lost licences.  Bit depressing if the future of live football consumption is thousands of people sitting on their own in their front room with a four pack of beer, followed by interaction via the internet/radio phone-in.

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No need to do it illegally.

Grab a CAS card, put up a satellite dish and tune into the foreign channels, as an increasing number of pubs are doing. Most of the commentary is still in English, as well.

There''s one particular pub in Yarmouth that shows about 15 live games a week, including 3 live Saturday 3pm kickoffs. And they can do it all without paying the ridiculous Sky fees, or worrying about a visit from PC Plod.

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