Sky TV and football clubs remind me of David Cameron and Nick Clegg, both are in bed with each other and none of them give a damn about the public.For me football has sold its soul to TV rights over the years. At the start of every football season your respective clubs fixtures will come out and of course during the campaign certain games will be changed. Sky of course call the shots, because of their massive financial input to the clubs and the clubs are more than happy to accept it, but has either one of them considered the paying public, the fan, the guy who works 5o hour shifts to buy a season ticket? Of course they haven’t, in my opinion neither give a f***. Both Middlesbrough and Sunderland have had a go at people watching illegal TV in pubs and clubs.For me it stinks of hypocrisy . Football clubs want the best of both worlds, they want the Sky money and the fans money and they want to have a say as to where fans watch the games. Where is the consideration for the working man, who travels to watch his team on a weekday night and doesn’t get back home till 5am and needs to start work at 7am. In today’s climate of global recession, I don’t think football clubs are helping to attract fans as much as they could.
Focusing on my own club Middlesbrough, I think it is time we tried to entice the unemployed fans back. In 2009 Spanish club Villa Real offered free tickets to unemployed fans. Third division outfit Queens Park who are in Glasgow, this summer have reduced and £11 ticket to £2, providing the fans produce their dole id. The unemployed fans at Dundee can go along and help the ground staff prepare for matches by cleaning stands etc, and get free admission. Sunderland years ago under Bob Murray had a concession for the unemployed. For years the elderly, children and disabled have been looked after, why not the unemployed?
Surely reducing match day tickets for unemployed is better than looking at empty seats, it would create a better atmosphere and would be great PR for the club. I know there are people out there who will knock the idea and say,’ why should I pay £300-£400 for a season ticket and Joe Bloggs next to me only pays xxx amount, because he has not got a job.’ Well those who think like that I can only assume have never been on the unemployment line. I have in the early 80’s and its degrading, embarrassing and soul destroying.
Back to watching football on illegal TV.If clubs weren’t trying to entice me back and at the minute they are not, there is only one way to watch it, on dodgy TV. Football in general,chairmen, chief executives, managers,coaches and players have lost touch with reality. What they should do is change roles with the unemployed fans for one week and see what they go through. Then they might feel more sympathetic towards them. As for Cameron and Clegg what do they know about poverty, unemployment and struggling financially? Absolutely nothing.