England’s Glory Days – World Cup 1966It is often said that Football is a life or death industry – perhaps in England it has become that these days? The nickname ‘The Beautiful Game’, assigned to association football, has been much used by many pundits, but is often attributed to Pele – the brilliant Brazilian footballer.
The English football season is drawing to a close now and the die is cast isn’t it? Success & failure for clubs is pretty predictable but perhaps not finally settled? Only a few games to go, but despair, tears, & desolation for many, or on the other side joy, cheers, & elation is still within the grasp of a few clubs’ supporters, eh?
Football used to be the British working man’s ‘spectator’ game – entertainment and relaxation, enjoyed standing with a passion on the open terraces on a cold windy rainy Saturday afternoon, with rivalries galore, kids sitting on the touchline, and poorly paid but adored and honourable participants kicking the often leaden sodden football (very unlike the light modern space age ball that can be swerved almost like a boomerang by even the basic & weakling of players!).
Unfortunately life moved on (as it does), and we now have a so called ‘sport’ which is anything but, and uncaring crowds watching a field full of 22 foul mouth violent cheats & sometimes off field thugs, earning obscene amounts of money (and a shed load of others standing in the wings), egged on by a stadium of corporate boxes & affluent imbecile supporters in their many thousands, and clubs run by a despicable group of moneyed football uncaring ignoramuses. Is Football now a game to make the purists amongst us sick at the sight? What was the main cause for all of this destruction & demise of our glorious game? MONEY money money of course (a deadly malignancy which has equally destroyed the game of Rugby as well now!).
In the good old days football was all about scoring goals, wasn’t it? It isn’t all that clear when the transition came, but is quite certainly now all about stopping goals – teams defend their own goalmouth relentlessly, and rely on sneaking a goal at their opponents end (a so called ‘breakaway’) to win the game. In the 1950s in all our teams of 11 players there were 5 Forwards – players in the front line of their team, on the park leading their team’s attack on their opponent’s goal and trying to score a goal. Nowadays in the second decade of the 2000s the top teams have normally only one Forward player (called a striker – not necessarily because he is the most violent attacker but perhaps?) playing ‘up front’, basically to tie up the opponents defence really, and pretend to be a potential goal scorer!
How can our football get back to scoring goals then, or at least playing attractive attacking football and trying to? Well, it has to be by use of money of course! That is all that English footballing people understand these days isn’t it? Clubs playing in the English top level, the Premiership, should be significantly rewarded by the number of goals they actually score (goals ‘For’) – using the money paid to them from the Football Association (FA) from TV money etc. No allowance should be made for massive defending i.e. little benefit from few goals (goals ‘Against’)! The incentive for managers then, forced on them from their accountants, would be play teams to score goals, whatever else!
Financial payments from the FA to clubs should be based solely on rewards for good play – say as an example for Premiership teams £1M for each Place up in the table, and £1M for each Point, but £10M for every Goal (everything pro-rata’d against the total budget available of course) – and stop as well the stupid massive ‘parachute’ payments to rubbish teams relegated as well – which simply encourages overpayment on transfers and players’ wages, doesn’t it?. [So much of the money pumped into football these days plainly goes straight into the pockets of scumbag agents and undeserving players and THAT has to be stopped once & for all, doesn’t it?].<
What would the financial impact be of such a strategy then? Well only 8 of the current Premier clubs would be rewarded in line with their table position, but 6 would do worse and lose out, while the other 6 would get a bigger income than their position would suggest (including the now relegated two clubs!). However, the bottom line is that it would NOT dramatically alter things as they stand (the top teams would get much the most money -10%), so nobody could complain about such a change could they? The contention though is that it WOULD change things in the future because there would be a major incentive not just to win or not lose (like now), but to score goals as well!
[Well what the heck is a carbuncle anyway, you say? Well it is a name applied to a shockingly unsightly medical infectious abscess skin condition, caused by an infection, issuing pus, which can turn lethal. Nice NOT!].