Football and Society
Good morning folks.
With some thrilling games in the Champs league out of the way I begin by saying well done to young Andy Robertson , who swung in the corner for big Virgil to prove hes worth his weight in gold , as 6 years ago he was playing in front of less than 500 souls at Queens Park,, and last night he was immense in Munich . A good success story indeed.
Virgil has taken the game in general by the scruff of the neck and I dont think I will ever tire of watching his graceful defending and Im fully expecting him to on and become world player of the year at some stage .
Alas though will be honest and state that Im hoping for a certain amount of leeway this St Patricks week as thoughts turn to social meetings full of liquids and football rightly takes its proper place on the back burner.
Thus todays offering did not flow forth from these hands but is a very interesting article giving certain modern footballers views on just how football affects the world around us .
I certainly found it worthwhile , would encourage you to read it , and as its a long read I shall paste a few parts below . Enjoy.
[Philip Neville] Football is tribalism. It’s something different from your family, from work, from your hobby. This is a religion; it’s your tribe that you fight for. You become attached to your tribe, and this attachment is passed down through generations. It’s not like you’re born one day and think, ‘hey, I’ll support Man Utd or Liverpool,’ this is passed down!
Manchester United has been passed down through my own family, through my dad and granddad. I worked in Liverpool for 8 years, and it’s even more tribal there. Houses and families are split through football!
The joy, the happiness, the disappointment that comes with football is exhilarating for players, families, spectators and more.
You have your family life, your work life, and football is separate to that. Football is a second life! I’ve seen accountants, lawyers, heads of state who- when they go to watch football- become different animals! That’s what makes the game so special.
If you saw someone at a football game watching their team, I get the feeling that what you see is their true character! This may sound deep, but when I go and watch a football game- when I’m not working- you really do express your true characteristics through how you feel and act. It’s a brilliant barometer of your own character!
I’m fortunate enough to own a hotel right next to Old Trafford, and when I took my father up to the top floor to see the ground, he got emotional. It was my father’s dream for his sons to own something so close to the club. He was a man who cancelled his own wedding because he thought a match was on a Saturday, so he arranged his wedding for Sunday. The game got moved to Sunday, and so he cancelled his wedding because United were playing at home! That’s how patriotic he was to the club.
My granddad took my dad to the games, and they always called at the same chippy at the top of Sir Matt Busby Way. When my dad took me, that was his dream- to take me to the same chip-shop before the game. When I take my son, I want to take him to the chip shop too! These are the things that get passed through the generations.
Leighton Baines] We’re at a real cross-roads in football. There’s a new TV deal coming into the game, and clubs are already spending the money. Someone has to step-in and put some guidelines into the game. The financial fair-play guidelines that were introduced a few years ago are vague, unclear and difficult to apply.
People are concerned about football growing away from it’s fans, and I get the feeling we’re not too far away from that point.
SKY and BT are battling it out for TV rights, and I doubt it’s long before they insist on pay-per-view matches, so people have to pay to watch every match on-top of their TV subscriptions! This would be a huge shame.
I’m sometimes conflicted. It’s true that people can still earn really good money without it getting silly, but then you see that Floyd Mayweather earns more in one fight than Lionel Messi may earn in a few years! There’s a case for wage-caps in football, but then look at someone like Messi who plays every single week, arguably to a bigger audience than boxing, but earns a fraction of someone at the top of that sport- that’s a bit of an imbalance. It’s perhaps because football is so popular that people concern themselves with earnings in the sport, but in truth- sportsmen around the world, particularly in the USA are earning far more than footballers.
Sometimes people ask whether money motivates footballers…. If I hadn’t made it as a professional footballer, I’d still be playing every Tuesday night with my friends at a soccer-dome or wherever. If being a professional footballer had paid £500 a week, I would have done it and never once complained about the money. It’s a consequence of where I’ve got to, that money has come along. In my career, I’ve never made a decision based on money- there’s been plenty of opportunities where more-money has come along with better options, but I’ve never made a decision based on that. I negotiate my own contracts to get the best deal for me and my family, I don’t use an agent to drive things for me. I always realise the fortunate position I’m in. If there was a job that paid me £5000 a week, and football paid £500 a week, I’d still pick football in a heartbeat, because it’s my passion.
I recognised not long ago, that I felt a tremendous guilt about the money in football. I felt so guilty about how much I was earning- and only recognised this recently. I started to try and do things away from football, in my area, to do things to improve the community. I really questioned my motivation for why I wanted to do more in the community, and with young people- and of course there’s empathy, but I know there was a lot of guilt about money and the position I was in. Realising this was a real moment of clarity… and was a big motivator for me to do more in the community.