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[Archived] Football - A Bit Crap Really


Scotty
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'They wouldn't stand for it on the continent. A cheap ticket for Borussia Dortmund costs under £10, Roma just £15, and a Real Madrid season ticket is a bargain £200. Fans stand up for themselves more in mainland Europe; in England they just roll over.'

When will the penny drop over here?

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When will the penny drop over here?

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The big 4-6 clubs don't need the penny to drop though do they? They can get away with charging silly prices, whereas Rovers can't. Although prices have gone up at Ewood, albeit slightly, it's in a vain attempt to "compete" (when I say compete I probably mean to say "stop up"). It would appear that a lot of people in Blackburn seem to have cottoned on already to the article though, hence another drop off of ST sales.

Even if 10-15 clubs all agreed to to slash their prices they'd still have the top 4-6 clubs to try and compete with. They don't need to slash prices as even if people don't renew they'll be some sheep behind them ready to take their places. It ain't gonna happen.

I liked the "competition" element of that article. The sooner Chelsea, ManU, Arsenal etc clear off and have a European Super League the better (why do they want to compete with the likes of Blackburn Rovers?) - then us mere mortals such as BRFC might just have more of a chance of taking part in a meaningful competiton - who knows it may even be interesting and affordable.

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There was a phone in on TalkSport the other night asking whether the Premiership was value for money this season. The programme started by pointing out that six category A games at Spurs this season will cost more than 70 quid!!! and that the most expensive season ticket at Arsenal would set you back 1800 quid.

My view is that the prices at many grounds are now stretching the loyalty and patience of even the most diehard fan but that by far the biggest turn off factor is players earning anything from 20k to 90k p.w. who obviously can't be arsed putting in a decent performance on a weekly basis.

I thought one or two callers might be thinking along these lines but to a man not one complained about price/lack of competition etc. They all displayed the sort of mentality outlined in the article and compared the experience of supporting a club to being part of an large extended family. Fans of lesser Clubs argued that a promotion via the play offs once every blue moon more than compensated for the years of overpriced crap inbetween etc

As long as people still think that way, and I'm not necessarily knocking them for their loyalty, the TV Companies, players agents and Club owners will obviously try to milk them for as much as they are worth, and I don't suppose you can really blame them for trying either.

The main problem is the "prune juice" effect. There's huge amounts of money out there but most of it completely bypasses the clubs and ends straight up in the players pockets. So the clubs feel obliged to try and screw that just that little bit extra out of already hard pressed fans. If they're successful the players ask for even more - and so on and so on. At some point the fans as a whole will say "no more" but we don't seem to have reached that point yet, although some have started dropping off.

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Good Link Scotty

Something I touched upon in the FA Cup semi final thread, with maybe Rovers fans leading the way and ahead of the game by not tolerating it and not being as naive as alot of fans - especially the Geordies.

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Fans know that games are overpriced but theres not alot we can do to stop it really apart from not turning up and to be honest i would think that most fans would rather put up with it to get to watch their team.

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Well to be honest, I thought very hard about not renewing my ST. I did in the end, hoping that this season I would get value for money, with some entertaining football.

If clubs like Rovers cant provide value for money in the form of entertainment there will be an ever decreasing decline in attendances, as fans choose to be sellective in games that they want to watch. eg when one of the big clubs come to town.

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I liked the "competition" element of that article. The sooner Chelsea, ManU, Arsenal etc clear off and have a European Super League the better (why do they want to compete with the likes of Blackburn Rovers?) - then us mere mortals such as BRFC might just have more of a chance of taking part in a meaningful competiton - who knows it may even be interesting and affordable.

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Not sure I agree with that part Bob, for me a large part of the attraction of being in the Premiership is watching us pit our wits against the big 3 or 4 and trying to figure out a way to beat them.

Take that away and you almost might as well be in the coca cola league playing Forest, Wolves Derby etc.

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I liked the "competition" element of that article. The sooner Chelsea, ManU, Arsenal etc clear off and have a European Super League the better (why do they want to compete with the likes of Blackburn Rovers?) - then us mere mortals such as BRFC might just have more of a chance of taking part in a meaningful competiton - who knows it may even be interesting and affordable.

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What I have been thinking increasingly is why not push them out?

Couldnt the other 85 or so league clubs agree to move out into a new system unless the European money is divided more fairly- ie. the vast majority of the money from the Champions League is shared out amongst all the teams in the football league equally. Man Utd, Chelsea, Arsenal etc. would still recieve a relatively small match fee and keep the money from gate reciepts so they would still make some cash. Another cup could be added, or the league cup adapted, to exclude clubs competing in europe.

In order for consistency however it would have to be agreed that the Premiership money would be shared out with lower league teams. To not do that would just be hipocracy. Would we as Rovers fans be willing to allow that? It means financially we would be vastly worse off.

It is radical but it would work in terms of competition, even if it would probably result in the big teams opting out to a European league to preserve their money.

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That was a superb article - although I think he bottled it a bit at the end by suggesting fans will ever be motivated enough to change anything.

Me, I'm having a hard time motivating myself to watch Rovers at all this season. Not because I've gone off football as a sport or I'm some kind of glory supporter, but because there doesn't seem to be any point to the Premiership. All Blackburn and most other clubs are playing for is the right to continue gorging themselves from the honey pot. We might get lucky and give one of the top teams a game once in a while, or score the occasional big win against another ordinary club, but those are our 'cup finals'. By next May, most of it will have been forgotten and we'll be preparing for another season of exactly the same.

It's no different in the lower divisions. All any Championship club wants is to be in Blackburn's position, thereby enabling them to pay millions to a mercenary like Bellamy. All Blackburn exists for is to avoid being the club to swap places with them.

Where's the fun in that?

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It's no different in the lower divisions. All any Championship club wants is to be in Blackburn's position, thereby enabling them to pay millions to a mercenary like Bellamy. All Blackburn exists for is to avoid being the club to swap places with them.

Where's the fun in that?

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Whilst every supporter wishes their club could be that bit more successful, surely watching us compete against the best with players like Cole and Bellamy in the blue and white halves makes it all worthwhile?

If you're not happy with that then there's no point being in any of the lower leagues either as the ultimate goal of promotion to the Premiership becomes pointless.

That's not to say there isn't a point at which the product becomes simply too expensive.

Edited by RevidgeBlue
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So get involved.

In short, it's not necessarily a given that football will become more soulless and uncompetitive with every passing year. But the game needs your help. After all, no one ever changed the world by sitting on their capacious backside, eating a pork pie and shouting beetroot-face abuse at Wayne Rooney, did they?

smile.gif

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'They wouldn't stand for it on the continent. A cheap ticket for Borussia Dortmund costs under £10, Roma just £15, and a Real Madrid season ticket is a bargain £200. Fans stand up for themselves more in mainland Europe; in England they just roll over.'

When will the penny drop over here?

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Unfortunately, probably not before it's too late. As long as there are still a decent majority of fans willing to cough up inflated prices week in, week out, the clubs will carry on as they are and milk us for all they can. Let's not forget, though, even Juventus have big attendance problems, Real Madrid have enormous debts and there are a lot of the Serie A Italian clubs are struggling with big debt problems - it's not all smiles for the rest of European football.

I used to read 'When Saturday Comes' regularly and there were several articles a couple of years ago about the decline / gradual improvement of footballing attendances around Europe. I half-remember reading one about a couple of top flight German teams whose crowds had dropped so much, that ticket prices were slashed considerably (in some cases more than 50%) and one or two even dedicated a standing only terrace for home supporters. I can't remember which teams they were (I'll look through some old issues or try and find the articles online), but as a result, crowds steadily increased and eventually caught back up to the levels before the declines started. The conclusion was that the clubs would rather have a full house of fans paying less for their tickets than half empty grounds.

It proved that something can be done to try and solve the problem, but I doubt anything so radical would occur over here in the UK until things turned really bad, especially considering the kinds of wages very average (and even terrible) players can look to pick up playing in the Premiership. Things may have changed slightly for the better in the last year or so (I think the situation at Southampton where most squad players had their wages cut by 50% when the team were relegated was a good start) as clubs try and re-address the situation, but for several years agents and players have been given lucrative deals for very little end product. Despite that though, at the top end of the scale there are still players pushing for more ££ even when they're overpaid as it is (see Rio Ferdinand & Ashley Cole)...you can't draw the line when the big clubs are still willing to continue spending big.

Even though Leeds are slowly starting to turn things around after the abysmal financial management of Ridsdale & co, they've still had season ticket prices raised by upto 25% in some areas of Elland Road. There was a hefty amount of empty seats for a live game recently (at home to Millwall, I think), which wasn't something I'd associated with Leeds in the past. The opening weekend of the Premiership showed that there are home crowds falling all across the country - we're all facing similar problems in attracting crowds on matchday.

The introduction of a Euro Super League may well change the Premiership into a more competitive league for the smaller teams, but it wouldn't be the same without the big English clubs (and I don't mean Big Club Brum by that) - they're currently the best chance we've got of seeing top quality players at our grounds. For countries like France and Holland, taking the best 2 to 3 teams from their leagues would have an even bigger effect on their domestic football than it would with us losing/getting rid of Man Utd, Arsenal and Chelsea. As for pitting the best teams across Europe against each other on a near weekly basis - isn't that what's so good about the current Champions League set-up? At least that's less predictable than the Premiership and enjoyable for the neutral to watch. I doubt it'd stay that way if the G14 group played the same fixtures on a regular basis. They'd also be less to play for the rest of us in the domestic front - at least at the moment we have 2 places (OK, maybe 3 at a push) that mean something to the rest of the league and are worth fighting for. Without the possibility of gaining entry to European competition (and I don't include the Inter TwoBob Cup or the Fairplay Tombola in that), there's not alot left to play for.

Maybe we should let Budweiser have a crack at running the show afterall... laugh.gif

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Excellent article. I too have been wondering what's the point of it all.

I take Revidge's point that the main benefit of "stopping up" are the three games a year at home to the top three, but even that is losing its lustre. We are less and less likely to get a result as their playing staff gets better and ours gets worse, and the other feature of getting to see top players in action is negated by being able to see on TV every game they play, in full, for next to nothing.

Personally, the prune juice effect is the biggest turn-off. Do I get more pleasure from watching Bellamy and Dickov than I did watching Garner, Sellars, Field etc.? No. Bellamy is not a great player, he's just an obscenely paid one.

Over here, I can get in to watch the Toronto Blue Jays play the New York Yankees for well under a tenner - TV money gets shared around much better. The Blue Jays are doing better and playing to bigger crowds since they got rid of the mega-high wage earners and started putting young players into the team. Fans identify with them much more.

But suggest putting youth into our team and some of the very same people posting on here immediately start screaming about the lost revenue from a couple of league places - revenue that we will only continue to ###### away lining the pockets of average players who couldn't give a stuff.

I bet Crewe's fans enjoy going to their games more than we do to ours.

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Over the past 2 years football in general has become less and less appealing to me, and I think it is becoming the same for a lot of people. The article is exactly right and addresses most of the important points.

There's just not the draw and the excitement there that there was even 5 or 6 years ago.

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I bet Crewe's fans enjoy going to their games more than we do to ours.

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Possibly. But then I reckon they'd trade places with us in an instant, which vindicates everything the Premiership stands for.

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members who have read my comments in other topics should be unsurprised to know that I agree with a lot of what is said in this article.

football is full off players who now prefer to be "celebrities" rather than football heroes.

it's become very money obsessed and greedy full of pre-madonna’s who cry/strike if earning less than £100k a week

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Excellant Article, well spotted.

I think Rovers fans are leading the way on this front (despite the fact I hate that people are giving up their season tickets) - I think we are more realistic than the city minded suporter.

"The trouble is, there are just seven clubs in the country owned by supporters' trusts - while only 23 trusts have elected directors on the board. Mutual trusts need to become the norm, not the exception, and that needs fans to get stuck in.

Another problem is that supporters remain stunningly insular. When it's your club being dragged over the coals, you fight tooth and nail. When it's the club up the road, you merely shrug your shoulders. Most fans were rightly appalled by how the FA allowed Wimbledon move to Milton Keynes - but how many protested?"

Agree entirely. We are apathetic beyond belief.

How many people will boycott Old Trafford, Stamford bridge and Highbury with me this season.... oh thats right I'm just saying that because im a part time supporter... real fans go to every game! [ouch the propaganda works]

A question for another day is do we want to run Blackburn Rovers as a supporters trust given that the current trust in my opinion bring more to the party than we ever could.

Edited by OscarRaven
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An excellent article, thanks to whoever posted the link.

I have got to the point now where I think the only solution is a European Superleague, with Arsenal, Chelsea & Man Utd off to compete in it. It would be completely dominated by Sky because there would be hardly any away fans, but frankly I wouldnt care about that. They stopped being interested in football as anything other than a means to print money so good riddance.

As for the Premiership without those 3 teams, it suddenly becomes a genuine competition again. Anyone can win. The bitterness which surrounds the big 3 whenever anyone gives them a run for their money (i.e. the cringingly embarrassing display of Chelsea after last season's Ewood game) would be gone. We would go to every match believing we could win it. The big 3 could still compete in domestic cup competitions (if they wanted to, and took them seriously). Players wages would have to come down, except for the big 3, because the central argument used by the powers-that-be (including Robert Coar when I spoke to him recently) to justify high wages is the need to compete in Europe. Well sod Europe. This is an English league and it will be all the better when the fans and the grass-roots element of football return to centre stage, instead of dodgy foreigners like Abramovich and Glaser, Sky TV, and greedy gits like Ferdinand and their agents.

Not playing ManU, Arsenal & Chelsea is a small price to pay for the return of excitement & genuine competition to a Saturday afternoon. (And thats another thing. Football is played at 3pm on a Saturday afternoon, not at 4.05 or 6.15 or whatever on a Sunday teatime. Some of us have work the next day!).

Thats all for now. Rant over. Lets start a petition or something.

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I couldn't find a suitable topic for this so I've started a new one.  feel free to move if there's somewhere it should go.

I thought the article below was brilliant and I had to agree with much of what was written.  Football is slowly dying on its arse.

Guardian story

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Football isn't dying on its arse at all though...because as the writer says football fans are idiots. Spurs are charging seventy quid a game this season but will they find no takers? Will the heck...the fans will still want to see the big games. They are a captive market. Some people seem to be mentioning Rovers as a good example but in reality if you look dispassionately at our club we are a rather unique case thanks to Jack Walker and the size of our stadium prohibiting any kind of 'must get a ticket quick or I can't go' buzz.

The only way football will die on its arse is when fans stop shelling out. It isn't happening yet. Even the example of Newcastle failing to sell out their season ticket allocation (if true) is scarcely relevant as that is in itself more due to failures on the pitch and in the boardroom than with any necessary example of supporter apathy in the club itself.

As the reporter states, football fans are idiots...at least, those paying seventy quid a ticket at White Hart Lane or 1800quid a season ticket at Highbury are but...hey...it's their money. A fool is easily parted...

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This is an excellent article and I feel sums up much of my view of football these days. I've probably been saying much of this, less articulately, for a couple of years.

Football isn't dying on its arse at all though

If this isn't true why don't I feel excited about the first home match?

Why is football something I do as part of the routine?

Why has football stopped dominating the week-ends plans?

Why do I go to bed rather than watch MOTD?

Why don't I bother to watch Rovers on Sky anymore?

Why was the only reason I renewed my STs because the kids wanted to go?

Why do I feel utterly disconnected from every player who wears blue and white?

Sky, the players, the agents have destroyed the game and the FA, PL chairmen and clubs were to weak to stop them. Give me Simon Garner over Craig Bellamy any day....I'd sooner watch the youngsters than the overpaid, idle bunch we will put out on Saturday afternoon.

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Football isn't dying on its arse at all though...because as the writer says football fans are idiots.

ditto what Paul said.

Either a lot of the so called football fan idiots are realising how bad it's got, or it's a generation thing that eventually you wake up to.

I remember my father in law, stating in the 70's when he would have been about the same age as I am now. "I WOULDN'T PAY THIS LOT WITH WASHERS"

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