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The state of football


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Well I don't normally write much on here and just normally read other's thoughts but I wanted to get some opinions on this matter. Is the Premier League better now or was it better 20 years ago?

 

I wonder this as I feel that I'm at the stage where I have fallen out of love with Football as a whole. Many factors seem to have led me to this stage: ridiculous prices for players, a saturation of live games, an overall drop in standard of games, brucey ball, the glorification of surviving in the Premier League. The list goes on.

 

Liverpool continue to show everyone how great they are by winning each week but are they really that great? I mean surely this season shows how bad the rest of the league are when you look at some of the points total teams are on. You can't say that the gap has grown closer between the so called top 6 and the rest because the rest have improved. I just think there are an awful lot of teams stinking up the league.

 

I mean of course it is very easy to say you have fallen out of love with the game when watching us every week but it's not solely down to our performances that I can claim this.

 

Ashley's dream of staying of just staying on the Premier League gravy train is one of the main reasons to switch off. I hate when teams fans such as Villa fans recently state they would rather just stay up than win a trophy.

 

I mean what's the point of it all then. Oh let's not bother winning a Final and enjoying cup success. Let's take 17th place so we can stay a Premier League side for another year. And and next season when we are in the FA Cup let's get out as quickly as possible so we can concentrate on the League. Don't want to play another 5/6 cup games as it might mean we get relegated after playing too much and we won't be able to just play 38 league games next season and watch us scrape to 40 points before we can starting enjoying the rest of the season.

 

What is the point of being a football fan if you don't have hope of doing anything. The hope shouldn't be just survive. The hope should be of one day achieving that great day out, that great success of seeing your team do something great.

 

Years ago I once said I'd hate to support a team that always finished in the mid-table - bottom half. You'd feel like you'd nothing but boredom in a season. Well that is exactly were we are at now. Were once we had the challenge of finishing in a Champions League spot,  Uefa Cup spot, FA Cup run even the odd season were you struggled and had a relegation fight at least there was a goal to try and acheive. Mid table mediocrity ... what's the point?

 

Now back to how good the actual standard is now a days. Do we have the best league in the world? Is the game greater now than ever or would you say we declined over the last 20 years?

 

In my honest opinion (although childhood nostalgia might have a sway on my view) I would always say that the game was so much better in all aspects 20 years ago. You can say the pace is much quicker now and I would say that we now don't have footballers, we have athletes who kick a ball around.

 

I just wish that I still had the love and interest in the game that I had then as I do now.

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Well I don't normally write much on here and just normally read other's thoughts but I wanted to get some opinions on this matter. Is the Premier League better now or was it better 20 years ago?

 

I wonder this as I feel that I'm at the stage where I have fallen out of love with Football as a whole. Many factors seem to have led me to this stage: ridiculous prices for players, a saturation of live games, an overall drop in standard of games, brucey ball, the glorification of surviving in the Premier League. The list goes on.

 

Liverpool continue to show everyone how great they are by winning each week but are they really that great? I mean surely this season shows how bad the rest of the league are when you look at some of the points total teams are on. You can't say that the gap has grown closer between the so called top 6 and the rest because the rest have improved. I just think there are an awful lot of teams stinking up the league.

 

I mean of course it is very easy to say you have fallen out of love with the game when watching us every week but it's not solely down to our performances that I can claim this.

 

Ashley's dream of staying of just staying on the Premier League gravy train is one of the main reasons to switch off. I hate when teams fans such as Villa fans recently state they would rather just stay up than win a trophy.

 

I mean what's the point of it all then. Oh let's not bother winning a Final and enjoying cup success. Let's take 17th place so we can stay a Premier League side for another year. And and next season when we are in the FA Cup let's get out as quickly as possible so we can concentrate on the League. Don't want to play another 5/6 cup games as it might mean we get relegated after playing too much and we won't be able to just play 38 league games next season and watch us scrape to 40 points before we can starting enjoying the rest of the season.

 

What is the point of being a football fan if you don't have hope of doing anything. The hope shouldn't be just survive. The hope should be of one day achieving that great day out, that great success of seeing your team do something great.

 

Years ago I once said I'd hate to support a team that always finished in the mid-table - bottom half. You'd feel like you'd nothing but boredom in a season. Well that is exactly were we are at now. Were once we had the challenge of finishing in a Champions League spot,  Uefa Cup spot, FA Cup run even the odd season were you struggled and had a relegation fight at least there was a goal to try and acheive. Mid table mediocrity ... what's the point?

 

Now back to how good the actual standard is now a days. Do we have the best league in the world? Is the game greater now than ever or would you say we declined over the last 20 years?

 

In my honest opinion (although childhood nostalgia might have a sway on my view) I would always say that the game was so much better in all aspects 20 years ago. You can say the pace is much quicker now and I would say that we now don't have footballers, we have athletes who kick a ball around.

 

I just wish that I still had the love and interest in the game that I had then as I do now.

 

They're also the European and World Champions.

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Well I don't normally write much on here and just normally read other's thoughts but I wanted to get some opinions on this matter. Is the Premier League better now or was it better 20 years ago?

 

I wonder this as I feel that I'm at the stage where I have fallen out of love with Football as a whole. Many factors seem to have led me to this stage: ridiculous prices for players, a saturation of live games, an overall drop in standard of games, brucey ball, the glorification of surviving in the Premier League. The list goes on.

 

Liverpool continue to show everyone how great they are by winning each week but are they really that great? I mean surely this season shows how bad the rest of the league are when you look at some of the points total teams are on. You can't say that the gap has grown closer between the so called top 6 and the rest because the rest have improved. I just think there are an awful lot of teams stinking up the league.

 

I mean of course it is very easy to say you have fallen out of love with the game when watching us every week but it's not solely down to our performances that I can claim this.

 

Ashley's dream of staying of just staying on the Premier League gravy train is one of the main reasons to switch off. I hate when teams fans such as Villa fans recently state they would rather just stay up than win a trophy.

 

I mean what's the point of it all then. Oh let's not bother winning a Final and enjoying cup success. Let's take 17th place so we can stay a Premier League side for another year. And and next season when we are in the FA Cup let's get out as quickly as possible so we can concentrate on the League. Don't want to play another 5/6 cup games as it might mean we get relegated after playing too much and we won't be able to just play 38 league games next season and watch us scrape to 40 points before we can starting enjoying the rest of the season.

 

What is the point of being a football fan if you don't have hope of doing anything. The hope shouldn't be just survive. The hope should be of one day achieving that great day out, that great success of seeing your team do something great.

 

Years ago I once said I'd hate to support a team that always finished in the mid-table - bottom half. You'd feel like you'd nothing but boredom in a season. Well that is exactly were we are at now. Were once we had the challenge of finishing in a Champions League spot,  Uefa Cup spot, FA Cup run even the odd season were you struggled and had a relegation fight at least there was a goal to try and acheive. Mid table mediocrity ... what's the point?

 

Now back to how good the actual standard is now a days. Do we have the best league in the world? Is the game greater now than ever or would you say we declined over the last 20 years?

 

In my honest opinion (although childhood nostalgia might have a sway on my view) I would always say that the game was so much better in all aspects 20 years ago. You can say the pace is much quicker now and I would say that we now don't have footballers, we have athletes who kick a ball around.

 

I just wish that I still had the love and interest in the game that I had then as I do now.

 

The football and the ability is a lot better at the top end but the overall competition is a lot worse due to the disparity  and money IMO.

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I've hated for years how all the interesting discussion points on this forum end up in one of the two "not worthy of a thread" threads so this is definitely worthy of its own.

 

There's a couple of really good Miguel Delaney pieces on similar themes from last week:

 

https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/premier-league/champions-league-superclubs-liverpool-man-utd-barcelona-real-madrid-a9330431.html

 

https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/premier-league/champions-league-super-clubs-liverpool-man-utd-barcelona-real-madrid-a9334826.html

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Have barely watched any football this season bar us. The Premier League just seems to be a different team absolutely blitzing every other team and winning the league easily now. Obviously not last year, but even then a title run isn't really that fun when both the top teams are just winning every single game

 

Internationals are still great though, especially tournaments

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its definitely going in a bad direction at the top level but hey theres still smaller scale stuff and ultimately while concerned about where its going I still enjoy watching premier league football (well except liverpool who are boring and nufc who are awful)

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Well I don't normally write much on here and just normally read other's thoughts but I wanted to get some opinions on this matter. Is the Premier League better now or was it better 20 years ago?

 

I wonder this as I feel that I'm at the stage where I have fallen out of love with Football as a whole. Many factors seem to have led me to this stage: ridiculous prices for players, a saturation of live games, an overall drop in standard of games, brucey ball, the glorification of surviving in the Premier League. The list goes on.

 

Liverpool continue to show everyone how great they are by winning each week but are they really that great? I mean surely this season shows how bad the rest of the league are when you look at some of the points total teams are on. You can't say that the gap has grown closer between the so called top 6 and the rest because the rest have improved. I just think there are an awful lot of teams stinking up the league.

 

I mean of course it is very easy to say you have fallen out of love with the game when watching us every week but it's not solely down to our performances that I can claim this.

 

Ashley's dream of staying of just staying on the Premier League gravy train is one of the main reasons to switch off. I hate when teams fans such as Villa fans recently state they would rather just stay up than win a trophy.

 

I mean what's the point of it all then. Oh let's not bother winning a Final and enjoying cup success. Let's take 17th place so we can stay a Premier League side for another year. And and next season when we are in the FA Cup let's get out as quickly as possible so we can concentrate on the League. Don't want to play another 5/6 cup games as it might mean we get relegated after playing too much and we won't be able to just play 38 league games next season and watch us scrape to 40 points before we can starting enjoying the rest of the season.

 

What is the point of being a football fan if you don't have hope of doing anything. The hope shouldn't be just survive. The hope should be of one day achieving that great day out, that great success of seeing your team do something great.

 

Years ago I once said I'd hate to support a team that always finished in the mid-table - bottom half. You'd feel like you'd nothing but boredom in a season. Well that is exactly were we are at now. Were once we had the challenge of finishing in a Champions League spot,  Uefa Cup spot, FA Cup run even the odd season were you struggled and had a relegation fight at least there was a goal to try and acheive. Mid table mediocrity ... what's the point?

 

Now back to how good the actual standard is now a days. Do we have the best league in the world? Is the game greater now than ever or would you say we declined over the last 20 years?

 

In my honest opinion (although childhood nostalgia might have a sway on my view) I would always say that the game was so much better in all aspects 20 years ago. You can say the pace is much quicker now and I would say that we now don't have footballers, we have athletes who kick a ball around.

 

I just wish that I still had the love and interest in the game that I had then as I do now.

 

I think it depends where it comes from. My first match was the season after Cox/Keegan got us promoted, and I was delighted to be a mid table team. The players, despite having the 80s version of Bruce in charge, played their hearts out, and we could dream of improving. Then we sold Waddle, and sent nowt. Then we sold Pedro, and spent nowt. Then we sold Gassa, and spent it on half of Wimbledon. At that point I was still blindly optimistic. At least they were spending the money on players. But we were shite. I gave up after consecutive home defeats to Forest and Wimbledon, and by the end of the season we were relegated. Then Keegan and Hall happened. Anybody developing a love after that point will look at things differently.

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I've hated for years how all the interesting discussion points on this forum end up in one of the two "not worthy of a thread" threads so this is definitely worthy of its own.

 

There's a couple of really good Miguel Delaney pieces on similar themes from last week:

 

https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/premier-league/champions-league-superclubs-liverpool-man-utd-barcelona-real-madrid-a9330431.html

 

https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/premier-league/champions-league-super-clubs-liverpool-man-utd-barcelona-real-madrid-a9334826.html

 

Two blindingly good and completely scary articles..........

 

This, fundamentally, is what's wrong with football - too much money 'earned' by too few clubs. Inflated values. Greed. Loss of a true fan base.

 

It's not really football anymore, is it?

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I've hated for years how all the interesting discussion points on this forum end up in one of the two "not worthy of a thread" threads so this is definitely worthy of its own.

 

There's a couple of really good Miguel Delaney pieces on similar themes from last week:

 

https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/premier-league/champions-league-superclubs-liverpool-man-utd-barcelona-real-madrid-a9330431.html

 

https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/premier-league/champions-league-super-clubs-liverpool-man-utd-barcelona-real-madrid-a9334826.html

 

Two blindingly good and completely scary articles..........

 

This, fundamentally, is what's wrong with football - too much money 'earned' by too few clubs. Inflated values. Greed. Loss of a true fan base.

 

It's not really football anymore, is it?

 

Just a front for money laundering.

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Well I don't normally write much on here and just normally read other's thoughts but I wanted to get some opinions on this matter. Is the Premier League better now or was it better 20 years ago?

 

I wonder this as I feel that I'm at the stage where I have fallen out of love with Football as a whole. Many factors seem to have led me to this stage: ridiculous prices for players, a saturation of live games, an overall drop in standard of games, brucey ball, the glorification of surviving in the Premier League. The list goes on.

 

Liverpool continue to show everyone how great they are by winning each week but are they really that great? I mean surely this season shows how bad the rest of the league are when you look at some of the points total teams are on. You can't say that the gap has grown closer between the so called top 6 and the rest because the rest have improved. I just think there are an awful lot of teams stinking up the league.

 

I mean of course it is very easy to say you have fallen out of love with the game when watching us every week but it's not solely down to our performances that I can claim this.

 

Ashley's dream of staying of just staying on the Premier League gravy train is one of the main reasons to switch off. I hate when teams fans such as Villa fans recently state they would rather just stay up than win a trophy.

 

I mean what's the point of it all then. Oh let's not bother winning a Final and enjoying cup success. Let's take 17th place so we can stay a Premier League side for another year. And and next season when we are in the FA Cup let's get out as quickly as possible so we can concentrate on the League. Don't want to play another 5/6 cup games as it might mean we get relegated after playing too much and we won't be able to just play 38 league games next season and watch us scrape to 40 points before we can starting enjoying the rest of the season.

 

What is the point of being a football fan if you don't have hope of doing anything. The hope shouldn't be just survive. The hope should be of one day achieving that great day out, that great success of seeing your team do something great.

 

Years ago I once said I'd hate to support a team that always finished in the mid-table - bottom half. You'd feel like you'd nothing but boredom in a season. Well that is exactly were we are at now. Were once we had the challenge of finishing in a Champions League spot,  Uefa Cup spot, FA Cup run even the odd season were you struggled and had a relegation fight at least there was a goal to try and acheive. Mid table mediocrity ... what's the point?

 

Now back to how good the actual standard is now a days. Do we have the best league in the world? Is the game greater now than ever or would you say we declined over the last 20 years?

 

In my honest opinion (although childhood nostalgia might have a sway on my view) I would always say that the game was so much better in all aspects 20 years ago. You can say the pace is much quicker now and I would say that we now don't have footballers, we have athletes who kick a ball around.

 

I just wish that I still had the love and interest in the game that I had then as I do now.

 

I think it depends where it comes from. My first match was the season after Cox/Keegan got us promoted, and I was delighted to be a mid table team. The players, despite having the 80s version of Bruce in charge, played their hearts out, and we could dream of improving. Then we sold Waddle, and sent nowt. Then we sold Pedro, and spent nowt. Then we sold Gassa, and spent it on half of Wimbledon. At that point I was still blindly optimistic. At least they were spending the money on players. But we were shite. I gave up after consecutive home defeats to Forest and Wimbledon, and by the end of the season we were relegated. Then Keegan and Hall happened. Anybody developing a love after that point will look at things differently.

 

I can remember us being shit before Keegan, but even then I think it was wrong to run the club with such a loser mentality. Mckeag was a small time owner who had no business being in charge of such an important football club. It pisses me off when I read that we were a small club before Keegan. That's not true, we won the FA cup a record number of times before the small fry took over. John Hall showed the true potential of NUFC.

 

I don't mind the money making such a difference in the game so much, just think we should at least be up there fighting for 3rd or 4th given the size of the club. This is a one club city after all.

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Well I don't normally write much on here and just normally read other's thoughts but I wanted to get some opinions on this matter. Is the Premier League better now or was it better 20 years ago?

 

I wonder this as I feel that I'm at the stage where I have fallen out of love with Football as a whole. Many factors seem to have led me to this stage: ridiculous prices for players, a saturation of live games, an overall drop in standard of games, brucey ball, the glorification of surviving in the Premier League. The list goes on.

 

Liverpool continue to show everyone how great they are by winning each week but are they really that great? I mean surely this season shows how bad the rest of the league are when you look at some of the points total teams are on. You can't say that the gap has grown closer between the so called top 6 and the rest because the rest have improved. I just think there are an awful lot of teams stinking up the league.

 

I mean of course it is very easy to say you have fallen out of love with the game when watching us every week but it's not solely down to our performances that I can claim this.

 

Ashley's dream of staying of just staying on the Premier League gravy train is one of the main reasons to switch off. I hate when teams fans such as Villa fans recently state they would rather just stay up than win a trophy.

 

I mean what's the point of it all then. Oh let's not bother winning a Final and enjoying cup success. Let's take 17th place so we can stay a Premier League side for another year. And and next season when we are in the FA Cup let's get out as quickly as possible so we can concentrate on the League. Don't want to play another 5/6 cup games as it might mean we get relegated after playing too much and we won't be able to just play 38 league games next season and watch us scrape to 40 points before we can starting enjoying the rest of the season.

 

What is the point of being a football fan if you don't have hope of doing anything. The hope shouldn't be just survive. The hope should be of one day achieving that great day out, that great success of seeing your team do something great.

 

Years ago I once said I'd hate to support a team that always finished in the mid-table - bottom half. You'd feel like you'd nothing but boredom in a season. Well that is exactly were we are at now. Were once we had the challenge of finishing in a Champions League spot,  Uefa Cup spot, FA Cup run even the odd season were you struggled and had a relegation fight at least there was a goal to try and acheive. Mid table mediocrity ... what's the point?

 

Now back to how good the actual standard is now a days. Do we have the best league in the world? Is the game greater now than ever or would you say we declined over the last 20 years?

 

In my honest opinion (although childhood nostalgia might have a sway on my view) I would always say that the game was so much better in all aspects 20 years ago. You can say the pace is much quicker now and I would say that we now don't have footballers, we have athletes who kick a ball around.

 

I just wish that I still had the love and interest in the game that I had then as I do now.

 

I think it depends where it comes from. My first match was the season after Cox/Keegan got us promoted, and I was delighted to be a mid table team. The players, despite having the 80s version of Bruce in charge, played their hearts out, and we could dream of improving. Then we sold Waddle, and sent nowt. Then we sold Pedro, and spent nowt. Then we sold Gassa, and spent it on half of Wimbledon. At that point I was still blindly optimistic. At least they were spending the money on players. But we were shite. I gave up after consecutive home defeats to Forest and Wimbledon, and by the end of the season we were relegated. Then Keegan and Hall happened. Anybody developing a love after that point will look at things differently.

 

I can remember us being shit before Keegan, but even then I think it was wrong to run the club with such a loser mentality. Mckeag was a small time owner who had no business being in charge of such an important football club. It pisses me off when I read that we were a small club before Keegan. That's not true, we won the FA cup a record number of times before the small fry took over. John Hall showed the true potential of NUFC.

 

I don't mind the money making such a difference in the game so much, just think we should at least be up there fighting for 3rd or 4th given the size of the club. This is a one club city after all.

 

Oh aye, I just wasn't aware of the business side when I first started going. 3 seasons in a row of selling our prized asset taught me pretty quick.

 

At the time we had a reputation of a club with a proud history in the cup, and yet we reached a point similar to where we're at now; A chance to reach the 5th round for the first time in in a long time. Replay at White Hart Lane after a 2-2 draw at home, I think. Can't remember anything about the replay [watched on Sportsnight] but I can remember Gassa hitting the woodwork with a lovely free-kick, in the home tie. I also know we lost the replay. Can't remember when the run was broken either.

 

Don't know what the statisticians would say, but, to me, Spurs were a bigger club than us at the time

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Totally agree with the OP.

Fell out of love with football in the early 2000s and it was just NUFC until it was comatosed by Ashley.

Its not the same thing so its only reasonable that peoples feelings change on it.

I'm convinced football games are a lot worse than they were - a stinker was rare in the 90s in the PL and the atmosphere's could even carry them. Whislt the quality of players at the lower end has improved its been condensed into a much of a muchness - top players are nowhere near as good as top players were and there's less of them. Very few can even beat a man despite tackling being all but obsolete. 

Relatively recently I've watched Aston Villa v Sheffield Wed 94/95 (both lower end of mid-table that year) and Coventry v Swindon 93/94 (Swindon were the original joke until mackems and Derby came along) - both those games, unspectacular at the time would be 5star matches now.

There's a theory I read somewhere, based around Don Bradman that better explains this.

There are rarely jokes in world cups now but also France are the worst world champions I've seen by a million miles.

To say nothing of the media being dumbed down severely since the 90s, the atmosphere's the worst they've been and only getting worse, messing up FA cup 3rd round day. The FA Cup is now what the league cup was, the league cup now is what the ZDS cup was.

Maybe its just that football is painfully uncool now. Too mainstream, corrupted, soulless, sold its traditions out, atmosphere.

 

Relatively few people seem to get fun out of it now too. That atmoshpere yesterday was a morgue as it probably was when Arsenal were getting 18,000 in the 80s and we played there - a difference now is the hype now massively out-weighs the product and the soulless nature of it - all that money for the same product - makes it feel worse.

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I love the Premier League for the athleticism and the skill on display, individual matches are generally decent. I don’t like the fact that you it’s more a richest owner competition than a real sport.

 

And I hate most of the football media, pundits and analysts and how they love the narrative over tactical discussions.

 

TBH I would rather sit in a comfy seat and enjoy the entertainment than stand and sing, but I know that’s wrong on some level.

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It’s been said a million times, hasn’t it? Money concentration has, maybe not ruined, but made top football rather boring and predictable.

 

I’ve never cared much for the Champions League, come quarter-finals the usual suspects are all there. Yeah, I know there have been a few exceptions.

 

Like Ian W says, it’s all about the ownership these days.

 

Some sort of regulation is needed. Can’t see it happening.

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I've watched the least football of my adult life this season, especially league football of any kind. Breaks my heart but the situation at NUFC has genuinely killed my joy of the game, not just my club. A lot of my close friends are Coventry City supporters so i'm thrilled that they've gone on a mad run in L1 but that's as good as it gets.

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It’s been said a million times, hasn’t it? Money concentration has, maybe not ruined, but made top football rather boring and predictable.

 

I’ve never cared much for the Champions League, come quarter-finals the usual suspects are all there. Yeah, I know there have been a few exceptions.

 

Like Ian W says, it’s all about the ownership these days.

 

Some sort of regulation is needed. Can’t see it happening.

 

Bang on. The disparity is too great, the only way to fix football is to regulate the money and make an equal playing field.

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Posted this back at the beginning of the season:

 

I really can’t remember ever giving less of a s*** abut football than this season :lol:. Didn’t realize this game was on until browsing the BBC.

 

Jesus and that's as a fan of a club who are going places too. Imagine how we feel  :lol:

 

Personally I still love it as a neutral and from a fpl perspective

 

I've avoided posting too much about it on here because I was worried I'd overstep the mark. Obviously I've become pretty disillusioned with many aspects of the game, despite my own team being on the up and up. My wife's a Villa fan, and I've had similar conversations with Villa fans, but many of them are suddenly back engaged because their team are not as shite, got promoted, and have spent money. I mean, I get it, but it doesn't change the underlying problems, and it rather suggests that the real season they became disillusioned with football was just that their team were shite at it.

 

Which brings me here, I guess. I didn't post too much about it because I suspect I was concerned I was being a self-righteous bastard who felt walking away while we were good was somehow more meaningful than, say, walking away while Mike Ashley systemically destroys your club. I don't want to be like that. Someone did say essentially "cry me a river", but I truly am sad that the sport I love has come to this. I can't be neutral because I've been a fan for 40+ years - there is no neutral :lol:. I still wanted Man U to get stuffed tonight, as soon as I realized they were playing.

 

Anyway, that's my slightly sad rant over, just got off work and going to see if an IPA helps :lol:.

 

I don't really want to get into the reasons too much. Suffice it to say, parity and a sense that clubs are truly rooted in their local community is important to me, and is no longer the case at the top level. I'm fortunate, in a way, that my club is doing pretty well, so that it couldn't be dismissed as just being fickle.

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I still think the Premier League and Championship are fantastic competitions and are still very competitive basically everywhere except, in the case of this season, the very very top. I feel like I've always resisted the idea that there has to be an outright top 4 or top 6. In financial terms, sure. It football terms, no, I don't accept it. It's possible to be clever and achieve things that are meaningful and remarkable. People go on about the great 'anomily' of Leicester City; I've never bought that either. Sure, the stars aligned somewhat, but it bloody happened and they deserved it! It should be seen as the great example of ambition and achievement, not just an outlier in some unchangeable elitist landscape.

 

That's just the football itself though, which I do still think is great and follow religiously (I'm not denying there are major issues, like VAR, and the way some tournaments operate). The economic/social problems in the game are rife, though, and they are damaging to the game's most fundamental characteristic: its reflection of people, identity and community.

 

Uber-capitalism has conquered the Premier League and it has become infested with customers seeking entertainment, meaning that the working class fan's pride of place has been well and truly vanquished. I'll admit the hypocrisy, like; cos we're all customers in this arena to some extent. We're all contributing to the consumer culture. It's available so we subscribe, it's too tempting.

 

Thankfully, the fourth, fifth, sixth tiers and beyond still exist for those more wholesome, 'grassroots' experiences. I don't know how attendances at those levels compare to years gone by, but I feel like lower division football may hopefully have a bit of a 'day' shortly. We may see a greater percentage of the matchgoing public considering slightly less glossy, slightly more old-school matches as a decent and affordable alternative to exclusively forking out £30-50 several times a season. I was sat behind a mum, dad and two kids aged 4-6 at York the other weekend; it was lovely to see.

 

I'm an example myself: discounting a Derby County game I went to, I've spent £56 on four match tickets so far this season, for games in the 4th tier and below, and loved every single one. Granted, I've turned away from the Premier League for reasons other than affordability/accessibility, but the fact is, the non-league alternative is hopefully becoming more appealing to more people.

 

Whether it's customers seeking a cheaper day out or fans seeking an alternative football fix, the product/competition still needs to improve and develop at that level (and in the likes of League 1 and 2, in fairness). As such, a greater apportioning of solidarity payments needs to happen if things are going to keep improving at the barely-pro/semi-pro level, but I don't know the fair way of doing it.

 

If you could snap your fingers and wish for one thing, as a neutral, with your community/culture hat on, it would be that a greater amount of the money made its way down the leagues. The effects on individual clubs would be monumental. The top teams would rightly argue that it's their talent bringing in that money, but competition is the ultimate key to sustainability and the gap between the haves and have-nots is just obscenely wide now: I think there needs to be more 'solidarity'.

 

Fingersnap number two/equal with the above: a more meaningful check on club owners. It's frankly a sporting crime that a man like Mike Ashley, who has absolutely no interest in sport, is allowed to dictate the direction of a sporting institution. At least the questionable individuals who own certain other clubs actually honour the purpose of competition.

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I’m more interested in international football these days. Disparities exist, but it’s a far more equitable game.

 

I recommend MLS for those interested in league football with greater parity than you’ll find in Europe. The quality continues to improve as well.

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The problems discussed in this thread are leitimate, but they do not seem new or worsening, imo. At least for people of my generation and younger, this parity people are discussing never existed. Football doesn't particularly seem more or less competitive than before, tbh. A few sides have always been the ones that dominated and this was generally determined by money. It is nothing new. At the end of the season, there will have been six champions between 2000 and now and there were only seven between 1980 and 2000. Frankly, the Premier League is the best of the major leagues in that regard currently. The situation seems less grim than in the previous decade, when the big four seemed entrenched forever and the lower clubs were less empowered. With the new TV deal, every club in the Premier League (excluding Newcastle) is essentially a financial juggernaut to some degree. The actual football is surely better as well. Are we sure that the problem is not just that we are old? :lol: I am sure this forum will skew against the youngest of supporters, who will express their opinions through repetitive memes on various larger social media platforms or while spending their parent's funds on Ultimate Team. I still love sport, but I am much more cynical about it in general, as comes with age. My younger cousin is just as obsessed as I was as a teen, with significantly more access than I could have dreamed of. We have also been beaten down by Newcastle, which is a dismal club to follow.

 

VAR is a separate issue, and has generally been a scourge upon the game, imo, but it is in every sport at this point. The racism nonsense is also just incredibly tiring as well. It seems that we have been in the same news cycle regarding these incidents since the infamous Spain-England friendly 15+ years ago.

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