How to reclaim morality in Premier league football by Jon fox
Those who read my regular posts know that I have long lamented the loss of true sport and morality in Prem football, since vast and obscenely awarded wages and the ownership of mostly corrupt billionaires completely changed our game for the worse. For many years I have found it increasingly difficult to actively support a sport which has become to me anti all that sport should truly mean. There is the constant cheating by players, usually backed up by “one eyed” fans who see their “darlings” doing no wrong, while routinely blaming “crooked” refs and unfair opponents.
My contention is that if you truly believe something in life is harmful or, at the very least, not as good as it should be, then you have a duty to stand up and be counted. I fully accept, of course, that many fans, even those who share my opinion about what is wrong with the modern game at top level, will simple say to themselves “there is nothing I can do to stop it, so I’ll just accept it, even though I don’t like it.” Or words to that effect. I believe in leadership and believe we CAN and MUST put something right, rather than meekly accept wrong and obscenity, as in this vast money ruining the sport, even though it helps promote the game worldwide.
It is this very popularity worldwide that has bankrolled the Prem. Undoubtedly it is an exciting product brilliantly marketed and hyped to extremes, with great skill and is considered a wonderful brand. I maintain the brand is sick, immoral, and is killing the sport that countless millions have loved like a spouse, by putting ordinary players – who just have talent in varying degrees, be that moderate, good or sublime – on a pedestal they do not deserve – and thus lauding often monosyllabic players to a status that they cannot carry, not deserve. Some, though a relative few, players are indeed star human beings. Such as Ben Foster and Jordan Henderson are humble men who have never lost touch with their roots, and do much for their local community and enhance the game by so doing. But for each of these there are many Karl Walkers, Jack Grealishs and Nicolas Bendtners who embarrass the sport off the field and who care for no one but themselves. Our club is no exception and we have had, like all clubs, our fair share of these selfish types. I have grown more and more unwilling to constantly overlook the harm these players do to the once noble game that I have loved since age seven.
Since the Prem came along in 1992, this gulf between the decent few and the self-centred many has grown exponentially each year. What has made things far worse still is the fact that so many multi-billionaires, all of whom care nothing for the ordinary man and woman fans, but only for money and personal glory as owner OR even worse ones, like Kroenke, who care only for personal wealth and care nothing for club glory or silverware.
We need to admit to ourselves that no league can run with a Mary Poppins mentality and that all clubs are out for personal glory at other’s expense. That is how it always should be, but that does not excuse financial immorality and gross greed and need not be that way.
Equally, any wise fan recognises that without many fierce and deadly opponents there would be NO league to play in, so that we all need each other. Just as we all need each other right now, in this bleak and dreadful times of hundreds dying each day in Britain alone, and thousands of heroes who, mostly, don’t know one end of a football pitch from another, are daily putting their own lives in danger to make sure that “strangers” live and get to go home to their families. Just now we all recognise and applaud those heroes, and we also see quite clearly which people in our interlinked society are REAL heroes and which are, so often at least, overpaid self-centred rather little people, despite the obvious talent in their feet.
So we have a golden opportunity if only we can see it, which I DO, ONLY TOO CLEARLY, to change this state of being and turn back the clock to better times, by refusing any longer to accept the financial filth that is ruining top football.
Sheer force of circumstances will do much of the work for us, as most apparently believe that even next season games are likely to be played without crowds present, and thus force players to much lower their gross greed and accept a much reduced wage, OR be unemployed in the sport they profess to love. It is, IMO, fortunate for our quest to restore morality and ONLY for that cause, that this is a PANDEMIC and all over the world, or virtually so. So, going elsewhere is not open to most players, as all countries are badly affected.
Many blinkered fans still believe that Covid 19 is just a bad dream that will prove no more than a pause in their football watching, and then it will resume with nothing changed, possibly even this summer. You see why I say “blinkered”!
I MAINTAIN WITH CONVICTION THAT THIS VIRUS IS A LANDMARK TIME IN THE WORLD IN THE WAY THAT THE END OF WORLD WAR TWO WAS ALSO.
When we are allowed back to some real normality in life, it will not be forgotten who stood up to be counted when it mattered, and who hid behind others and refused even to accept wage deferrals without a huge battle, let alone the drastic permanent cuts they OUGHT to have ALL volunteered to take immediately this virus began.
I say all Prem fans, en masse, should write an open letter with a petition attached which scorns the selfish players, and which says we will not accept this state of being any longer. We need millions of signatures on this petition to ask PARLIAMENT to intervene and use their power to make it law that there now be a maximum wage in football at all levels. If this were adopted by the Prem itself and other top leagues abroad, players would be left without a leg to stand on. Yes, some but not many in my view, would challenge this in court, which is why FIFA and UEFA also need to back the clubs and thus force players to accept what is on offer or leave the game altogether. It would only need a very few, possibly only one high profile player to fail in this challenge to alter matters and ultimately fail to alter law itself. No law can stand for ever in unjust fashion when the weight of people is firmly against it. It cannot hold and would not, if done this way.
Coupled with this action, we fans need to band together and instead of jeering and “hating” each other, we all need to recognise that WE are all on the same side, the right and moral side and that our real enemy is greed and obscene money which has divided the fans from the players. And my friends, it is this fan to player relationship that has been so damaged, already far more than many even realise, and which has undermined the precious bond of fans to players that has been the biggest cornerstone in supporting football, til recent times. We need an active and effective fans union run by a well-known and widely respected household football name. Someone like Bob Wilson would be perfect, even if Bob himself is somewhat old in years now, but that TYPE of widely respected person, obviously honest to his/her core and people orientated too, to combat this greed and to be a rallying point behind whom all fans could unite. This is a serious suggestion, which if implemented would quickly gather weight and numbers, vast numbers in fact.
To help regain our sport from the deadly grip of multi billionaires and corporate bullies like the Prem league itself, plus Sky, BT and other media giants, will take tougher action and I will tackle my proposals for bringing them to heel in my next and final part of this article.
Stay safe and have patience,