Some Sort Of Dreampolitik
As the lights go out at Gigg Lane, maybe for the last time, it feels very much like the morning after the night before.
The great big never-ending party of the Premier League & Sky Sports meant that there was always going to be a crash at some point. Everyone was getting loaded & high for so long, it was inevitable that this would come.
We need sweeping reforms now. Not in some sort of abstract future. Now. We need to go to rehab.
TV seems to own football in this country. It has a stranglehold over the game. The damage it is doing (and has done) has already shown to be irreparable.
In Germany, where they have 50+1 ownership for most Bundesliga clubs, the fans protested Monday night games (the shock!) so effectively, that the league has agreed to scrap them entirely when the TV deal is renegotiated for the 21/22 season.
We now have football everyday of the week in this country. We have reached saturation point where we are bombarded with it constantly.
When you throw a monumental amount of money into the mix, creating a divide of mountainous proportions, it isn’t too hard to see where we’ve gone wrong.
Sky’s perpetual narrative and marketing drive to make the game itself unimportant & create a brand has lead to a sidelining of every single club that isn’t Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Spurs or Liverpool. This is not ok.
It has destroyed community clubs, destroyed the voice of fans in this country & lead to the toppest of top-heavy situations. Only winning matters. Only the top clubs matter. They drive transfer rumours at the cost of covering things that really matter.
When the F.A. helped create the Premier League, that really was the death knell for football being the game of the people in this country.
The EFL have been quick to distance themselves from blame on this. They have gone with ‘it is the clubs’ fault - they make the rules.’
They aren’t incorrect. But they do sanction owners. They apparently do due-diligence with their deservedly-derided ‘fit and proper persons’ tests. Steve Dale, Ken Anderson, Owen Oyston are clearly not fit to be anywhere near football & each one has either completely destroyed their clubs, or they have brought them to the brink.
If the EFL are as powerless and as toothless as they claim, then it is time for sweeping reform and a governing body capable and powerful enough to stop the clubs that they are meant to represent going out of business.
Some of these owners are appalling and they are absolutely getting a huge amount of the blame. But equally, the problems run so much more deeply than this.
Sky Sports, the Premier League, the F.A., the EFL and the clubs themselves are all to blame for the dire straits of Bury & Bolton.
But we, as fans, have also let this happen.
Germany has shown us the way. Let’s unite, let’s protest, let us abandon the institutions that have abandoned us.
Let’s take our game back.