Sunday, 22 January 2023

What about the cost of supporting football?

Sometimes I get a bit flustered, not because I won the Lottery but thinking about the cost of living. We hear day in, day out the news about the cost of heating our homes, that we also must buy new lights of a much lower wattage. And spend thousands on triple glazing. Just for starters. So, yes it would make anyone get flustered! Then we have to listen to the garbled messages from politicians about these issues whilst knowing they have voted themselves some increases in allowances. Free this and free that. Well, OK it is what it is. It might not be quite fair but who wants to disagree? For one I want to disagree because when I was young my parents always said if you want fairness make sure you are a fair person. Do the things that are fair and deal with others in a fair manner. But there is a thought in me about hearing about these very high costs of living, hearing about the difficulties of people to make ends meet and how the social allowances are never enough. But something does not entirely add up. Like watching the football matches shown on a Sunday morning with that wonderful (!) pundit Gary Lineker. 

Well, OK he is not quite the standard of the late Brian Moore or Gabby Logan but he’ll do if only because the bodies sitting next to him make him look good. Watching the matches I am astounded by the shots showing the full stands! Matches in the Premier League drawing up to 50 to70,000? The average ticket price according to the Internet being £50 with the most expensive being Arsenal at £97! Then loads of supporters buy the club shirts as well or even splash out on season tickets. Now bearing in mind there are 24 clubs in the Premier League that alone might account for 1,000,000 or so people. Then also the Championship League and Leagues One and Two. The Sports Gazette website stated that on average every weekend 834,724 people went to watch live football from one of England’s top six tiers. I think that is low, I believe it is well over one million and if we also calculate the other tiers it will be close to two million. You see the money? That’s how you will notice the strange situation of attendances at a cost of millions overall and the rising cost of living. 

It seems that many who profess difficulty paying household bills have no problem shelling out for the weekly football match coupled with a few pints of beer afterwards. Mark, I am not complaining I just want to highlight the interesting facts. Facts that no-one really talks about. However, I do believe that the money now running too many sports, like football (called Soccer in the US) is ridiculously high. Millions to transfer players and an interesting question is, do the players still receive a cut of the transfer fee? Then the weekly sums spent by the clubs on their players with some receiving nearly half a million pounds a week. Can anyone say that is normal? I just wonder if the gate receipts will cover the money spent on players. Surely, this is a recipe for a future disaster? Some players cannot seem to get to grips with such high levels of income and simply waste it. Just read the newspapers of crashed Lamborghinis or Maseratis. Besides the accusations of mistreating nubile ladies. It is a strange world, for sure.

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