Date: 1st September 2007 at 4:54pm
Written by:

Over the next few weeks, I was thinking of writing a series of articles about footballs changing face, what has happened over the last few years, and decades to make it what it is now.

They are all open to debate, and needless to say, half the things I write will be wrong, but they should provide a decent surface to build into decent ‘debates of the week’ or something similar.

Once upon a time, football was a game where 22 men got together to kick a ball round a park. Actually, originally it was a random assortment of people kicking a leather ball around in ancient china, but when we are talking about the history of football, my personal experience is that 1966 is ancient history, and watching England crash out of the France ’98 world cup is pretty ancient too, we generally are assumed to mean in the ‘good old days’ when all the legends were playing for peanuts, Pompey being the first team to win the league back to back (still only 6 teams have done that, I think). In those days, Health and safety in stadiums was
negligible, players played football because they were good at it, and enjoyed it.

These days, football critics say that it is all very different. They say that footballers only play for money, and that there is a lack of passion in the game, even saying that the true purpose of the game is being lost in TV deals and foreign investment. They look at teams like Portsmouth, Man City, Arsenal, etc. and accuse them of making it hard for British talent to shine through. They jibe at the big spenders; Chelsea and West Ham saying that they have lost their love of the beautiful game, whilst hailing Tottenham for buying into young British talent. Most worryingly, they say, football is being turned into a business.

The reality is, however, football has always been a business. Clubs have always charged fans to watch teams play, pay some of it to the players, and make a chunky profit themselves. These days, they say footballers are overpaid. The naivety of this statement is beyond belief. football is itself part of the Entertainment Business, and the Premiership entertains more people than ever before. You can barely travel in any foreign city, town, or village (this, from personal experience, extending to tribes in Thailand) without being made aware of the Premierships success (Manchester united in particular). When more people know your name, than the prime minister of Britain, then surely you are allowed to be paid the wages that David Beckham receives, and when more people have heard of the team than almost any other organisation world wide, (other than coca-cola, of coarse) then you must be allowed to pay the people who attract this attention the money they deserve.

Like it or not, footballers wages are increasing, the amount of money in football is increasing, the amount of foreign investment is increasing, and the amount of people watching the games is increasing. Surely this can only be a good thing?

Written by pompeycarpet.

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26 Replies to “Football’s changing face”

  • yep, football has been changing throughout the ages. maybe more and increasingly rapidly in recent times but that is the way of the world isnt it… thanks for this mate – i really enjoyed reading this so i hope that others read it through completely too.

  • nice article mr carpet! haha. football will NEVER die for there will always be supporters and there will always be players! if u want supreme skill and pace u watch the premiership and pay the price to see the “skills”; but if u want to watch proper football u can always watch H+W, thats REAL football, some sweat and guts, stupidly late challenges and often fights ….. between the supporters and the ref! :p i dont mind investment in clubs provided its respectful. new grounds, training facilites and youth academies … couldnt be any more perfect. having an injured first team player costing £20mil being replaced by someone in his place for £20mil JUST because hes injured is beyond ludicrous! like people … if ure rich, u get richer, the poor just pay taxes! … in football, the best teams get the best players and all those underneath just play the same **** every season! 🙂 lookin forward to reading next installment mr carpet… isnt it a bit for you?! :p

  • Game certainly has changed over the near 50 years I have been watching Pompey. I can’t remember the first non british player I saw play – have to test my memory. They had one player Lloyd Delaphena who played handful of games in the Championship years who was West Indian by birth. Nice article rug and hopefully it will start a debate.

  • The naivety of this statement is beyond belief……Are you having a laugh carpet?? You think that £130,000 per WEEK is not an obscene amount of money?? Nobody, no matter how many people know thier name, deserves that sort of money!!!!!!!!!!! especially when they then complain of being tired, poor little babies! However, the entertainment perspective i do agree with. Even how last night kept us all on tenderhooks till the very last moment!

  • Fantastic article mate! I remember my first game 30 years ago the players change but the grounds the same!! 🙂 The buzz I get seeing those floodlights still gives me expectant butterflies though. I took my son to his first game last season and it hit me he hasn’t known anything but where we are now! That to me is real Change.

  • L L that is the point because we still play in our old stadium the game has not changed as much as say for Arsenal at their new Emirates home. No floodlight pylons, no old terraces, tatty loos etc. etc. No the game is less different in its traditional home.

  • As if to prove my point in the picture of Jimmy Dick on the masthead you can see behind him to the right the North terrace and stand which are still there today. To the left is the old Fratton end demolished in the late 80’s. As the ground is empty I hope it was a training shot.

  • Tradition eh lads, jumpers for goal posts, what memories we have at Pompey.
    Remember being a sleeping giant in the old fourth division, and then the revival under Frank Burrows, would we have swopped those times, bloody right i would have, Halifax and Rochdale midweek, you can poke that.
    We should be proud where we have come from boys, and the tradition of Guthrie, Froggatt, Reid and Dickinson oh and Scoular.
    I love our ground, the lights and the smell (not the toilets though)
    Lovely topic though, it is great to think of our heritage, and nobody is taking that away from us.

  • Rug – just a small correction Pompey were the first team to win the League in successive seasons after the war.

  • eastneydave – it was me who wrote the article ;-), sorry i didnt say “since the war”. pompey4me – it was my thinking that anyone that can entertain so many people for so long – if you ever turned on skysportsnews, he is virtualy all they talked about. surely for keeping so many people entertained, £135 000 a week, or whatever is cheap?

  • Sorry Carpet should have checked writer before correcting. Should know my rugs from carpets as its my sons trade.

  • Used to be a time when the working class all went to footie together then up the pub for a pint and fag, now you need a mortgage to do both!

  • lets make no bones about it the money that they get paid is ridiculous, but if they will get paid it they will take it. if i could get paid a fortune for something i love and was good at i would take it in a flash, altho i would pay for pompey for free if i could… for a while anyway 🙂 but it is the same for vitually everthing now isnt it – way too much is paid to people for almost everything.

  • yep all those difficult to come by expensive english players that Arry was on about, you know like the one he sold

  • Carpet, As rug says, if i could get that sort of money i would take it in a flash, but i must be naive beyond belief because no footballer is worth £135,000 per week. That sort of money certainally aint cheap as you say it is.

  • have you considered how many people these guys entertain every week. They are paid this much because people are prepared to pay them – supporters at the grounds, and the sky/setanta tv packages, not to mention the money from foreign tv that is also coming in. If you consider that to watch a film – a DVD from the rental shop is £5 – and say 5 people watch it, thats £1 a person. and we can be pretty sure that more than 135 000 people watch david beckham play every week, so actually, as an entertainment/time/money basis, it is very cost effective…

  • …and yes i have manipulated the sttsitics a bit – but then everyone lse does all the time, and it does prove my point quite nicely. by changing everything around a bit, you can also prove how expensive it is…but thats beside the point 😉

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