Grab a crate of 8 form the corner-shop; assemble with your mates at the boozer; walk 2 miles through your neighbourhood; grab a pie from the pasty van; chug a quick fag down your throat; bustle in through the rusty turnstiles as you give Wendy in the ticket-booth (who’s been a familiar face for the past 12 years) your ticket; fill the terraces; and then sing your heart out for 90 minutes.
Make sure you’ve got your £1100 season ticket; drive through a congested London; buy a parking ticket for £10 at the stadium’s car park; duck your way through the thousands of people; stop for a quick pint and hot-dog for £21.50; go through the turnstiles; sit in your seat surrounded by half-passionate, half-ignorant fans that sort-of support the club but are here for a day out more than anything; then call for the managers head when you lose 4-1.
I’m not here to moan about fans. They are merely representative outcomes of the evolution of Football.
Description A: ‘The beautiful game’. Such competition and skill; grace and passion. We have some of Europe’s best players that put on astounding performances that drop jaws. The style of play is like no other. End-to-end gripping shows of such magnitude. A game that can captivate the world, stop time and provoke emotion in a heartbeat. The most popular sport on the planet.
Description B: A capitalist mutation of what was once a Sport. A manipulative and warped idea of sport. Surrounded by adverts, sponsorship, and finance, Football has become a corporate monster. In a world where people are starving to death, men get paid £100k a week to play competitive sport. Clubs are worth hundreds of millions, if not billions, of pounds. A medley of corrupt organisational bodies regulate and justify this. Football is no more a sport than it is a stocks and shares market.
20th Century and lower league football
Description A: A less-developed version of the game. The intentions are there but the skill is not quite up to scratch. More of a rough-mans game made up of has-beens, nearly-but-not-quites and semi-professionals. Not lacking in passion, but is almost the smart-price version of Football. Don’t knock the people who support lower league clubs but perhaps sympathize that they’re team isn’t punching their weight in the dizzying heights of the game.
Description B: A game that is still cemented in it’s passionate routes. Money doesn’t matter and the game is played out of love. Fans don’t care so much about trophies and multi-million pound transfer’s, they just want to see the ball to hit the back of the net. A much more tightly-knit foundation for people to simply enjoy the sport.
It is sad state of affairs if you ask me. Football has turned into a corporate parade of flamboyance, profit and corruption. A game where oil revenue is more relevant than culture. A game where the prominent figureheads have more interests at stake in your consumption of the sponsorship on show than they do your opinion on the final result. I still watch football, but my care for the game is dwindling. It is dwindling to the point where I’ve recently proclaimed that “I’m just guna support Millwall next year”. And just to get things straight: WENGER OUT.