It appears that with each passing year and each passing season, we (football fans) are becoming much easier to hate by the rest of the world’s population. And perhaps there was once a time when people considered us the victims. No anymore. We are now the culprits. And here is why.
Perhaps a good place to start is the amount of money it takes to buy a player of quality these days. If nothing else, it is absolutely criminal! From how much Real Madrid paid for Bale to how much Barcelona paid for Neymar, it is fair to say that we are a culture that has gone to far.
Of course it is easy to attribute this problem to the fundamentals of economics, which is demand and supply. But is that a valid enough justification? Spain was one of the worst hit by the 2008 global recession. Its poverty levels, its unemployment and its income inequality have all increased as a result. And yet somehow €100 million paid for the services of one player is seen as a worthwhile investment. The fact that we sit idly by and allow this to happen (even if we do not agree with it) shows that we are condoning such disgusting ways of spending money and all in the name of entertainment no less.
We were jubilant when our team won, upset when our team lose and on the fence when our team drew. But all the while, we acknowledged that football was just a game played by passionate people for passionate people. Times have changed. It’s no longer the same. It has become so business-driven that it affects the way we – the fans – feel about the game.
When our team loses, we are upset. Not only because we lost. But because our beloved clubs still pay the players amounts that can change the whole economic landscape of certain countries. There is no consequence for these players. Rooney still walked away with a nice £300,000 a week cheque in his pocket for playing terribly during the Champions League game against Olympiakos.
Where is the justice? For the fans who pay so much for a game ticket, a jersey (which clubs change every year), and the exorbitant television subscriptions we pay just so that we can catch our favourite team play, there is literally no tangible justice. And if the owners of these clubs can’t understand it in layman’s terms, let me explain it in your language.
Where is our return on investment?
However, it has gone on for so long that it is no longer the footballing world’s fault. It has become ours for continuing to allow such bad habits to persist in a game that we love.
I think we as a footballing culture, really need to re-think what we are allowing to continue. We are now the problem. Not the clubs.
I’m not sure I want to be part of this anymore. As much as I love soccer.