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Wanted! Footballs soul back!

Corruption, mercenaries and greed are just some of the things that are now rife among football.

The 'beautiful game' used to be about 2 sets of teams on a 'fairly' level playing field supported by good, honest, hard working fans that looked for a release at the end of the week, USUALLY on a Saturday at 3pm with the occasional Tuesday/Wednesday night game thrown in, and you cannot beat a midweeker under the floodlights can you?

Now, the playing fields are so uneven it is unreal, games can be played whenever those in charge deem fit and can be changed whenever they want, and often at the drop of a hat with a 'sod the fans' attitude - we are not important, we are just the ones that put our money, our heart and out soul into it!

With so many figures involved in the game now dealing with transfers, and every one of them getting their grubby little mitts in on the action, 'back hander's' and 'sly cuts' had almost become 'the norm' in the game, although, all being well, some will soon be exposed for the 'illegal dealings' they undertook?!

Footballers themselves, on the whole, USED to play football because it was something that they were good at and loved doing - granted the majority of them these days are good and that is why they do this but the number of them doing this more because of the riches, and at most levels these days, they can get from it is on the up all the time!

'Back in the day' if a player was not playing he would bang on the managers door to find out why?

If he could not get this chance he would move on because playing is WHAT he wanted to do - nowadays it is common place for a player to happily sit on the bench, if he even makes that, and accept what he can for as long as he can and fairly frequently happily do that instead of moving on elsewhere in order to play. Then again the player that does start playing, and then playing regularly, will often be banging on the managers door for more money!

Should that extra money not be forthcoming then they will demand, and almost always get, that move elsewhere in order to get this - even if it comes at the ultimate cost of playing in the end!

'Owning a football club' had become a 'trend'. The 'street cred' that goes along with this means more to some than the job they actually have to do - and this job is more often than not NOT even funded by them, they fund this by loan after loan and put it against a club and God help this club should this owner withdraw and interest, or the banks, or whoever, come calling for this money. Then again it is also the owner that can look to get back his 'investment,' of course something that we can testify too!

Football is big business but it does seem that the days of making big money from football has gone, the balloon is deflating and will eventually be flat.

The arse is falling through so the loans taken out against clubs is increasing and the actual money that the owners 'personally' put in decreases all the time, yet they do all they can to bleed the fans dry, pocketing whatever they can from us and deals the club does that SHOULD be on behalf of the club - as said an increasing number are not actually putting in their own money, yet money that comes into the club is money that they are quite happy to take out!

A game that I have loved since the mid-late 80s - I was born in 79, but have to admit that I did not really 'take to football' until I was around 8, and due to my geographical location, and finances, I could not take up the regular attendance to Pompey games until the mid 90s - and was something from that moment that I wanted to be involved in, playing was the ultimate dream. People say I was not bad, and I was selected for trials to represent the South Hams region, as I moved down to Devon before I was 10-years-old, and was also 'told' by my manager at the time that trials with the likes of Torquay and Exeter 'could' have been possible, to be honest I do not think I would have been good enough but an operation that I had as a 16-year-old pretty much ruined any chance that I had to find out anyway...

Not put off by this I still wanted some involvement in football in some way, a sports reporter was then my goal - this went off the tracks for many years until I got my chance, kind of, with Vital Football, so technically from my work here on Vital Pompey, and Vital Football in general, in many way I am fulfilling that dream of being involved someway in football, and the doors that have opened for me since being a part of Vital Pompey and things that I have been able to accomplish, or help others to has been fantastic, yet this 'dream' is rapidly becoming a 'nightmare!'

My detest and distain for football is growing by the day, and it is the soulless nature to which the game is now played and run that sees this...

I never thought I would see the day when I would fall out of love with football, but this has increased dramatically over the past 18-months or so, of course my love for Pompey will always remain but even this is something that is being stretched, I have to admit that if it was not for the travelling - which can be a pain - that often means I do these long haul journeys with my mates, so it is as much about the day as they game, I would be getting little 'enjoyment' from it anymore! Even during the darkest days in the late 90s when we were up s**t creek, both on and off the field, I never once failed to enjoy it, but a few times this season I can honestly say that I have not wanted to go to a game, I had 'wished' trains would not turn up or others could not make it, of course they did turn up, even if they were late in typical BR fashion and my mates like me did go, and in the end I am of course glad that this happened.

The good honest professionals, and managers, from yesteryear - some that are no longer with us - must be appalled at the state of football these days, those that are no longer with us, the truly great, decent and honest ones such as (Sir) Alan Ball, Sir Stanley Matthews and Sir Bobby Robson - to name but a few - must be turning in their graves, I know I would be...

Many of the 'expert pundits' say that the premier league is the 'best thing to happen to football,' although I would say more and more - and as Paul said the other week - 20/02/1992 was pretty much the day football started to die, the inception of the premier league has seen the rot and decay set in and this is becoming almost terminal with so many clubs now. The FA and premier league have so much to answer to, but then again so long as they get their cut for as long as they can they will be happy, right?

I am not one of those people that 'does not want change' but I am one of those that just wants 'the easy life,' that wants to be able to 'enjoy the beautiful game' and enjoyment is a million miles away from what I, and I dare so countless others, are getting from football more and more these days...


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The Journalist

Writer: pompeyrug Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday January 30 2010

Time: 1:00PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Interesting views Rug.. As a Pompey fan I have been fairly happy with the premiership and can not really complain about not enjoying it ..although from a purely Pompey point of view this season hasn't been great.. Has the soul been ripped out of football? .. yeah probably .. is it 'Sky's or the EPL fault? .. Yeah probably but we (Pompey) have been part of it so is it not difficult to complain? .. by attending matches we are not 'participating' ?.. Football has changed granted but it needed to .. Players are paid too much .. but back in the 50's they could not move clubs even if THEY wanted to .. The clubs had just as much power as the EPL does now.. I'm not saying that either way is right.. it isn't .. but I do think we are looking at this issue now when back in May 2008 we would not have cared less.. Are we crying wolf ?
Report Abuse
30/01/2010 13:15:00

Nice heartfelt piece Rug. The PL, Sky TV and the 'prawn sandwich' brigade have all helped to rip the soul from football and let in the chancers and playboys.
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30/01/2010 13:15:00

Rug's views reflect my own in many ways, another article I have written may surface soon, spot if you can see any similararities!
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30/01/2010 13:51:00

Got to say Chix, we as fans are fickle, if all is well on the face of it we are happy, once the cloak falls we scream and shout, trouble is money governs football from top to bottom now, you have the "haves" and the "have nots" football is meant to be 11 v 11 likely matched teams, thta what divisions are for, to find you level, now though it is quite often 11 supreme athletes v 11 grafters, no contest
Report Abuse
30/01/2010 13:56:00

how do you lads cope knowing whats going on at your club ? TOTAL RESPECT lads and i hope everything turns out for the best for you
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30/01/2010 14:14:00

I've found it more difficult to enjoy football since we have been in the PL. Sure, the Cup Final was an emotional day after years of less glamourous trips, but the commercial side of things is too dominant at the top. Going to a match used to be about the Pomey XI on the pitch and the supporters against a similar bunch. These days there are too many parasites that have latched on to the game to make a living from the hard work of others. Or perhaps I'm just a grumpy old man.
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30/01/2010 14:37:00

I blame Jimmy Hill abolishing the maximum wage!
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30/01/2010 15:28:00

the other night i watched the film Damned United, the story of Cloughy and Revie, and whilst the sums were different the story hasnt changed, clubs financially struggling, battles between managers, chairman, players and fans. The games is still largely the same. The film is well worth a go, possibly one of the best ive ever seen; LoL though clearly not as good as ESCAPE TO VICTORY :-)
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30/01/2010 15:58:00

I remember around the time of Dave Beckham first emerging at Man U people talking about football being the new rock and roll. Well, I think they were right and we are now seeing the sport somewhat akin to the late 70's prog rock era. The top of the game is out of touch with reality and there are some ridiculous ego's wandering around it. It's almost embarrasing trying to justify it to people that are into other sports.
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30/01/2010 16:55:00

Although sport is big money in general and where there is money there's tw*ts
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30/01/2010 16:57:00

Hey!!! watch it Scum, I've got 37 quid in the bank yu know.......
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30/01/2010 17:17:00

Back in the day - as a squaddie, I could just rock up to FP when I was home on leave, pay my 5 at the turnstile and get in.......I miss those days, sit/stand where you like, great atmosphere and always wanted to come back. Even on away trips it was exactly the same; you always met up with some like-minded idiot who had travelled across the country without a ticket, pretty confident of getting in to support the blues......but the premierleague has been good fun, but it is going rotten !!! (Hypocrites that we all are, it never seemed to matter when we were keeping our heads above water!!!)
Report Abuse
30/01/2010 18:06:00

The only way we can fight back is to cancel our Sky subscriptions
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31/01/2010 08:34:00

Read Arthur Hopcraft's book "The Football Man", written in 1967, and they were asking the same questions then. No one listened to the warnings all those years ago.
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31/01/2010 14:58:00


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