So the new season is well under way. Managers have already been sacked,
clubs are getting worried about relegation and English teams are still losing in
Europe. It all sounds a bit familiar. The top of the Premiership, after
Sheffield Wednesday's surprising start, has a familiar look to it
already. Who would bet against the trophy going to Old Trafford, Anfield
or St James Park. In the other divisions there is again little change.
The early season hopefuls are starting to get into gear with the top and
the bottom clubs staying fairly fixed from now until May when it is all
For three valiantly battling sides the dreaded drop from the Premiership
into first division obscurity. For three valiantly battling sides the
stardom and riches of the Premiership will be waiting. That paradise of
a division where full houses are a certainty and a host of foreign stars
knocking on your door to play in arguably the world's top division.
But the system needs to change. The top five clubs, along with S*Y, now
control football. The FA has sold out to sponsorship and TV deals are
driving the sport into an elitist select group. Because of this system
the top five clubs take more of the money...the very clubs that need it
the least. It is time for change. Brighton, and many other clubs, will
die if there is no change. The system needs an overhaul and the sooner
Firstly the FA and the Football League need to put their feet down. They need to tell S*Y where to go and to stop messing around with
the fixture lists. All matches should be played on a Saturday afternoon
except for one to played Saturday night at 8 pm. Midweek matches should
then be played on a Tuesday or a Wednesday. If the players are
complaining about fixture pile up this should remove it.
The little clubs of this world are suffering. The top clubs need to
get their act together. They need to stop demanding so much of the cake
and an inverse system should be introduced. The top club should receive
the least money the bottom the most. A system similar to the draft
system in American Football. The big clubs wouldn't go for this because
ultimately it would produce a more even selection of teams breaking their
power grip. All the TV money should be pooled for all 94 clubs and split
up with Brighton receiving the most, Liverpool the least - as things
stand at the moment.
We also need to change the staff. Too much of the game as a
whole is run as a buisness. The aim of the game is no longer to
entertain but to make money. In effect when you go to a game you are
paying money to a club to watch 11 people try and make money for that
club. In the past football was an entertainment, now it is a business.
The reason for this is too many club chairmen are after money from clubs
and the FA staff to out of touch to realise. It has to change. A
football club is an investment, yes - but not one to make money out of.
So there we are - a simple three point approach. Not perfect by
any means but an attempt to redress the balance. An attempt to make the
system fairer and to give the little clubs a chance. So I say well done
York. Despite all the money in the top division little clubs can still
cause an upset. However, for that very reason the big clubs will spend
more and demand more money to stop it happening again. It is a corrupt
system that funds the rich clubs and brings suffering to the little clubs
and their thousands of loyal supporters.
So come a sunny afternoon in May a big club will be crowned
champions. Not necessarily because their tactics were any better, nor
their skill level but ultimately they spent their vast sums of money
on eleven talented individuals. If they are lucky, for all their teamwork,
Brighton and Hove Albion will still be a football club.