Demand is leading to football fans being sort of conned by the rich and powerful

I am between a rock and a hard place on the subject of greed and morality in the game as expressed in this article here by Jon Fox. In many ways, the advent of the Premier League and Sky bringing live games and a new worldwide audience ensured that the best talent was being played in England week in, week out.

How right it is that we have been branded ‘customers’. But us customers have a deep, emotional relationship with our club. It is not a franchise like they have in America, but part of the fabric in many cases, of our social history, handed down through generations. Yet as customers, we are getting a raw deal if so much of our sports package money goes into the pockets of so few. For every supporter that shouts, ‘pay him what he wants’ fails to realise that the money ultimately comes out of our pockets as Sky/BT/etc put up their prices again and again

It was mentioned in a previous post that the Little Mixes of this world have zero talent and still earn millions. Demand, I would argue is the driving force in that I can pay to see them in concert or download their music for a fee if I wish but what I don’t have to do is pay to watch them on TV. Again, I can watch most top-rated comedians on the box and not be obliged to pay. The Beeb gets a licence fee and ITV receives advertising revenue to run their businesses.

Most of us have little choice if we want to watch Arsenal and even then it is only certain fixtures. It isn’t like purchasing an imaginary Arsenal TV season ticket. We either have to PAY or be prepared to watch MOTD, Sky and BT not only charge us but get millions more in advertising. It is a sort of con.

It has made all PL clubs richer and in the process has lined their collective pockets from the rest of us.

I was speaking to my husband about our post Covid lives – whenever that is – and we both agreed that all our lives will be changed forever. I cannot see how football can come out anything but poorer from this, especially if the population will be paying for this calamity for at least a generation in either reduced services and/or increased taxes.

An article by SueP

Note from Admin Martin – This is SueP’s first guest post, be nice please.

Tags BT MOTD Sky

23 Comments

  1. Admin Martin says:

    I would like to be the first to say well done SueP, this is a great piece.

    1. towny 254 says:

      It certainly was WELL DONE

  2. Grandad says:

    Well said Sue.The Pandemic will change our views and outlook on many aspects of life in this Country and will hopefully bring about a sense of priorities which has been lacking for some time.We are all missing our Football but fans will no longer pay a high percentage of their disposable income to line the pockets of players, agents , and the representatives of the media.

    1. SueP says:

      Thanks Grandad
      I fear that there will be much less disposable income The palaver over wage cuts and deferrals I think will strike a chord

  3. jon fox says:

    SueP and I were of course two twins sparated at birth! At least I have come to suspect so, as she writes with such humanity which strikes a chord in me. Sue astutely see loud and clear the huge and welcome change wthat is coming for sure and is in some degree already apparent tothose who wish to look ahead. I find it disappointing thatsome great fans -and this willapply to all clubs- just can’t face up to this change and so want things to carry on as before after this virus is gone.

    But that blinkered vision fails to see how relatively small even top level football is in the whole world. Of course it IS the whole world to some of us, but is of no interest at all to many more humans. Why should football think it can stay the same when far bigger businesses than it will be changed for ever?

    This desperation to finish the season in June is showing in that “pits” of a Prem league online meeting just yesterday, where at least ten clubs are anti carrying on,it is widely reported. At least 6 and possibly 8 are in danger of relegation were it to finish but if voided OR at least not finished this summer, those clubs will probably not be relegated without finishing and they all know that. So they fight against finishing then. The clubs in Euro and CL contention are desperate to finish of course. SO, all are thinking of THEMSELVES and THAT is what will be changed, by sheer force of circumstances as surely as night follows day, in the near future.

    No clubs, not City, not Paris SG will be able to afford such vast wages and fees after this virus and clubs like ours are already doing the only sensible thing to survive and saying that large incoming transfers are nil this summer. That will be the norm across football too. No huge offers, maybe lower ones though, to take Auba and certainly no club prepared to pay him his demanded £300k pw. Not one, you wait and see!
    When the dust settles , some way off as yet, football will survive but what will not is the current wages for top players AND the huge fees paid for them. Commercial money will be far less than now and even fans will not all be able to afford present prices to attend. Bigger clubs will probably be able to fill the grounds for bigger games and sell the season tickets but this will not be across the board. To summarise, to expect little or no change ,in fans attitudes too not just money, is extreme naivety bordering on wilfull blindness.

    A CERTAIN MANAGER USED TO SAY “I DID NOT SEE IT”. But he did, as we all know. I bet he sees this coming change too and better than any of us. too.

    1. SueP says:

      I agree that there will less commercial money available Jon. So many people must be feeling the pinch and if football doesn’t reappear soon then advertisers won’t be spending big with the tv companies. This will inevitably filter down to the PL and must I believe end up in wage cuts etc

      As you say, if there is less disposable income how many fans from across the PL teams will be able to readily afford season tickets if their jobs have gone?

  4. Roachie says:

    A good article. Watching football, or most sports can be very expensive. We saw Amazon flex their muscles at christmas and I read today o2 and Virgin are plotting to take a piece of Sky’s and BT’s monopoly on sport. Would this bring the price down? In the long run i’m not too sure. We may have to subscribe to multiple tv suppliers to watch our team. It makes watching your team play live a luxury that less will be able to afford. I certainly couldn’t justify paying sky or bt (my mrs would go mad), so like many others use iptv. Maybe if people stopped paying the crazy prices these firms demand the price would have to drop, thus less money being paid to the clubs?

    1. SueP says:

      Hi Roachie
      I doubt, like you, that prices would come down if other media groups obtained future TV rights. Your mention of watching our team as as becoming a luxury we can not afford might well be a consequence.

  5. stevo says:

    Yes well done Sue P on your first article.
    I have to say though I think football will recover quite quickly. If the season is terminated now that will be more or less in line with a normal early May PL ending season and so a normal off season should follow. The first season post covid will be a recovery season but the season after I predict will be fully back to “normal” money crazy bonanza.
    People forget a lot more quickly now days because there is so much more to process.
    In relation to that thought I notice that ever since the league was shut down only a few people have submitted posts to Just Arsenal and most of the posters are the older generation. I wonder why that is?
    Are we more written focused where as the younger ones are now more video focused?
    Are the younger ones interested in the game day experience only?
    PS. I assumed the article was written by Martin and when I read the part about “I was speaking to my husband ” I went oh who knew 🙂
    Then I saw the article was written by you 🙂

    1. jon fox says:

      stevo, the absence of younger fans from matters that concern the games future is unsurprising to me. It is of course regrettable but not surprising. Sigh!

    2. Admin Martin says:

      Nine kids so no husband 🙂

    3. SueP says:

      Thanks Stevo
      I’m interested in your points of view but do you really think that football can recover that quickly and to the same levels as before?
      I’m more pessimistic as it will take quite some time for financial confidence to return. We will be paying for this for years to come as I really do believe that certain businesses will be gone for good. We are frequently being told that we will all have to get used to this new norm

  6. Chemical imbalance says:

    Football is losing its soul! The failure to connect with their community is growing stronger, money now rules.

    In this current climate where people are losing loved ones and our community that puts its self in danger in key roles, football will be the loser. Hopefully this situation will be a ground leveller, and the greedy corporations and money mad football people will see the error of their ways.

    Premier league is certainly not a level playing field at current level and people will just switch off now.

    1. SueP says:

      It does Chemical Imbalance, in answer to your first point
      I’ve never been against talented people earning a good income but have seen for a while the situation ballooning out of control

  7. Jah son says:

    Congrats Sue long may you continue. Football surely have lost its soul thing is only way to bring it back is to start all over again. You know like a child, i have to admit the Arsenal has grown she’s now blossomed and has become a global statue. Our arsenal is no longer the community club anymore now people from all walks of life are kissing the badge smiles we should be proud. Cares what may …..

    1. SueP says:

      Jah son
      Community club days are now gone. Nothing stays the same and an Arsenal supporter from Africa or Asia for example has as much right to love our club in the same way as us Londoners.

  8. ken1945 says:

    SueP, excellent article from a personal and overall view let’s keep them coming!!!

    There is no doubt that football will suffer, along with every other franchise from DIY to eating out – the money just will not be there.

    Either because of lost jobs, or lost money from pensions, shares or investments.

    However, for those who still have the ability to choose how to spend any money they have “spare”, they will want to use it in a way that stimulates them…and following a sport is, most certainly one of them.

    As an admitted “fanatical” follower of The Arsenal, my first consideration, after the well being of my family of course, will be to ensure I can carry on following my club.

    If that means cutting back on other personal pleasures such as curries with the boys on a friday night, taking numerous holidays,, or paying for sky to watch other teams, that’s what I will do.

    I believe thousands of others will do the same and for those who still cannot afford to follow their club, a 60,000 waiting list is ready to take up the slack – it is simply a situation of supply and demand.

    1. SueP says:

      Thanks for your response Ken
      I really do understand your point about supply and demand and you putting your prime pastime/hobby in first place is fine Less curries for you then!
      I know the world will recover but how long will it take? With talk of a situation at least as bad as the Great Depression I’m not sure that the hypnotist who snaps his fingers to wake us up again will return us to the same spot.

  9. AndersS says:

    A very good post.
    Supply and demand is of course an excellent market mechanism in many ways. And as pointed out, the market forces will for sure reduce the amount of money in football.
    But there is no law of nature saying football should be a free market commodity. In principle football’s governing bodies could take back control and put the sport on different track. Whether they will, is an entirely different matter.

    1. SueP says:

      I’d like to hope so Anders
      We all love football and some of us at least would like to see it take a slightly different path

  10. Shakir says:

    A nice post and respect your opinion.

    Looking at this in a different perspective,is it just football which has ridiculous amount of money included in it?No right.
    I dont know if many of you all knew this but almost everything around you is a business right now.Though you earn less dont mean that the industry you are in is on the side of humanity.People earn billioms through you and you dont know it.Even medicine has become a business,it was for many years.As long as there are conspiracies and agendas there will always be differences,unfairness and inhumanity and many more problems.”They” create it and you live it.

    You are given problems to think about but the real problems lay underground.You wont realize this my friend while you spend your whole life blaming the football world while the many other industries around ypu is robbing the small amount you earn.

    And this is a wider topic and one who realizes whats happening around him will get surprised for sure.And finally “Be the change you want to make “~Mahathma Gandhi

    1. SueP says:

      Thanks Shakir for reminding us all that we are very small cogs in the big wheel of life and it’s inequalities

      I posted this article only to raise the issues that affect football as we all love the game. I do feel that it is not too late to turn the tide against the very few have been able to milk us. It was sport once upon a time that had a community following. I have never objected to the rise of the game or mind that those within it earn a very good living as players and coaches. I do though loathe the few who have their grubby hands on taking us ordinary people to the cleaners

    2. jon fox says:

      Shakir, FAIR COMMENTS BUT AS THIS IS A FOOTBLL SITE IT NATURALLY CONCENTRATES ON FOOTBALL MATTERS. That does not mean that many of us do not also see the rotten gred inso many other areas of life. We are not on here to debate the immorality of, for example, bankers, at least not under normal circumstances, so football is , naturally, the subject we discuss. Would you not agree?

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