Football: Isn’t It About Time We Grew Up?

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This was our team strip for the winter of 2012/2013

Let me begin by confessing that I used to be a pretty reasonable football fan. I had played the sport with many different teams growing up, used to avidly watch any game that came onto my television screen, and would be enthralled by whoever was playing. The beautifully curling free-kicks passing the wildly flapping keeper, the seemingly telepathic passing, the controversial referee decisions and the pained expressions when either a defender scores an own goal or a striker misses a sitter. I used to cherish every moment.

However something has happened to me this season that I thought would never happen…I have seemingly lost interest in the very sport that a good portion of my life used to revolve around. At first I put it down to being away from England for two years and not being able to keep up with the live game as much as I’d like to. I thought that once back in England I would relish the opportunity to watch the games again in Greenwich Mean Time. I longed to see Match of the Day on a Saturday night and hear the familiar theme music that always fills me with nostalgia. Sadly this has not been the case and I think there are a few reasons why my passion for football has failed to reignite.

Football Fans

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Whilst some people find this funny, I find it disturbing.

I am fed up with the childish attitudes of a lot of the fans. Chelsea are not the greatest team the world has ever seen (Sorry Andy and Nathan), relying on past victories is an incredibly futile way to try and win arguments…cough, cough Liverpool fans (Sorry Foxy) and England will never win the World Cup again while we refuse to invest money into football academies that help nurture the younger players.

My dear old mother was recently watching her fourteen year old nephew play football. Near her was a gentlemen in his sixties talking about football. When he mentioned Tottenham Hotspur another guy in his thirties a few metres away turned round and said with a snarl “What did you say about Tottenham?”

The older man replied “Nothing we were just talking about league positions”.

The young man bashed his chest with his fist, a lot like a gorilla trying to assert his dominance and added, “I’m Arsenal through and through. Just the mention of the fucking Tottenham scum makes my blood boil”

Am I the only one who sees something wrong with this man’s reaction? Admittedly I once used to revel in the banter amongst friends about whose players and teams were the best but now I just find the whole conversation tedious and futile. And we certainly didn’t act the way this guy did. How many times have you seen sports fans completely over react when talking about their subject? Too many I would have to say. I appreciate that the majority of football fans are well rounded individuals who clearly don’t have anger management issue but this guy clearly needs to speak to someone professional.

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My last season playing competitive 11-a-side for Appledore FC. We were promoted that season.

The sad thing is that I have heard similar comments from supporters of my own team (Tottenham Hotspur). In the past I had admittedly joked with a friend calling him “Arsenal scum” but it was taken in the light hearted manner that it was intended. However I have also heard fans of many teams get into heated slagging matches and even fights because one person said something negative about the other team’s manager. Are we in playschool? Isn’t it about time we all people grew up?

Loyalty

Before we go any further please click on the link and relive Adebayor’s goal for Man City against Aresnal.

Uncalled for celebration? What about the immature crowd reaction?

Now some would argue that Adebayor was stupid for running the length of the pitch to celebrate in front of his former team’s fans. Why though are we excusing the behaviour of those fans? They are throwing things onto the pitch and are more or less ready to jump onto the pitch to attack the player. Mob mentality or just immaturity of silly little boys who never grew up from the playground squabbles?

Another aspect which has really begun to grate me is the naïve way football fans think that players owe some form of loyalty to them and their club. I ask “Why?” Why should a player whom once he gets too old or goes through a bad patch will be dropped to the bench, the reserves or sold onto another club. Why should these players have loyalty when a bigger club comes in for more money?

Let me put it to you this way. Think of your own job (If you haven’t got a job just pretend you do for the moment). If a bigger company came to you and said “I want you to work for us. We will pay you double for doing the same job and you will also be working with better, harder working people.” What would you do? Those of you who say that you will stay with your current job are either lying or delusional.

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My last 11-a-side match was in 2015 at our an annual friendly with some buddies. Our team won 6-0 and I bagged a goal.

Stop complaining about the player’s wages

However I will say one thing in defence of football here and it concerns the constant bashing about the wages of the football players. The next time someone posts something on Facebook about soldiers getting paid less than footballers for doing a dangerous job and that footballers should stop whining about contracts etc. I will say this to them (And I mean no disrespect to our brave soldiers fighting or who have fought abroad).

“Ok you ignoramus let us look at it this way. Firstly the individual chose to be in the army. That was his/her choice. Their salaries are paid by us, the tax payer but we have no choice as to how much money they are paid. Want soldiers to get paid more? Pay more tax and lobby the government for a pay increase. Secondly if you are fed up with footballer’s salaries then you can do the following:

  1. Cancel your sky subscription (And any other cable or satellite package you have)
  2. Stop buying tickets and going to see football games
  3. Stop buying the merchandise of the teams
  4. Refuse to do business with any company that sponsors a football team or has a sponsorship deal with the leagues. (This may include boycotting alcohol too)

We as supporters are responsible for the high wages because we spend our hard earned money on goods and services that then get transferred to the players.

I know I could have written another five thousand words on this subject but I am going to leave it here and ask you your thoughts on the subject.

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