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10 Worst Things About Modern Football

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The beautiful game is admired around the world. Not least because of the passion and excitement involved, or how it brings millions of people together worldwide. Like with anything though, football has its negatives. In no particular order, here’s a list of the 10 worst things about modern football.

The Money Involved

This has to be first on the list. The money involved in football nowadays is ridiculous as we all know and it’s great for the players, but not so great for us fans. Footballer’s wages are going up and up and hence so are ticket prices; a football day out at the high levels can set you back quite a lot of money. This also gives those teams in the lower leagues a very slim chance of reaching the top because they cannot compete financially with those above them. Even the disparity between teams in the Premier League is huge. Unfortunately, the money involved also distances fans and players – these are 2 very different worlds. Long gone are the days of fans and players sharing a drink together down the local pub on a Saturday evening.

Vuvuzelas

These had to get a mention at some point. Making their debut at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, vuvuzelas have always been a source of annoyance for television listeners and fans in general. They’re loud and usually don’t stop throughout a whole 90 minutes of football. Luckily, they are a dying breed and are only usually heard at international matches or big cup games, in England anyway.

Diving

10 Worst Things About Modern Football

It’s just not needed or wanted. It slows the game down and let’s face it, is out and out cheating. We’d all be better off if it was cut out of the game.

Millionaire Owners

Do they really care for the club or is it just a business enterprise to them? More often than not, the owners have no prior connection to the club they buy and change the identity of the club for the worse.

Betting Companies’ Sponsorship

Betting and football go hand in hand nowadays but it’s not a healthy relationship. We see the majority of Premier League teams having betting companies as their main shirt sponsors and to some this is immoral. Football is basically promoting and endorsing an addictive behaviour. Again, this links back to money as it always does.

Footballers As Role Models

Unfortunately, kids today still look up to footballers as role models – let’s face it, who didn’t want to be a footballer when they were a kid? However, when you see cases like those of Ched Evans, Adam Johnson and more recently, Wayne Rooney’s drink driving scandal, should footballers really be seen role models anymore? It’s a different day and age to the times of Moore and Charlton, who were gentlemen and family men, people to look up to.

Lack of Privacy On and Off The Pitch

Cameras are everywhere now during football matches which doesn’t really flatter players and coaches alike. Recently, Ashley Young was unfortunate enough to have a piece of bird faeces fall out of the sky and into his mouth while playing for Manchester United. More infamous are the images of Joachim Lowe, Germany’s head coach, picking his nose on multiple occasions in the dugout. More importantly, players and managers do not really get left alone off the pitch either, particularly by the press. Whether they are at home or on holiday abroad, their every move is monitored.

Time Managers Get In A Job

In the modern era, if a manager doesn’t pick up wins fast he is usually sacked without hesitation. Managers are expected to click with their team and bring success to their club almost immediately, which we all know is unrealistic and above all, unfair. If Sir Alex had started his career now, he probably wouldn’t go on to be as successful as he did. Let’s not forget, he won nothing in his first season as Manchester United manager – look then what happened.

Lack of Chances For Younger Players

This is most apparent in England. Home-grown youth and academy players don’t really have a chance of starting Premier League games because of the money spent on world class foreign imports. The summer just gone has shown how good England are at youth level, with multiple trophy wins, but will these players be given a chance at their clubs? The German system is a prime example of how giving talented youth players a chance at the highest level can reap in its rewards.

Hooliganism

10 Worst Things About Modern Football

Again something that just needs to be cut out of football completely. Hooliganism discourages younger attendees from going to football matches which is wrong because football is a universal sport. There is no place for hooliganism or violence in football but luckily this is just a minority who try and ruin it for the rest of us.

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How good is your FA Cup Knowledge?

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LONDON, ENGLAND – MAY 27: The FA Cup Trophy is seen prior to The Emirates FA Cup Final between Arsenal and Chelsea at Wembley Stadium on May 27, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

How good is your FA Cup knowledge?

FA Cup Quiz

Test your FA Cup knowledge with our quiz to mark the occasion.

Leaderboard: FA Cup Quiz

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Is the FA Cup losing it’s magic ?

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Having just seen the conclusion of the 3rd round of this seasons’ FA Cup we can’t help but think that much like the Premier League, trophy is Man City’s to lose, but is the magic of the FA Cup still alive?
The 4th round draw has hardly produced any must watch ties and we’ll probably see the top level teams progress further into the competition as expected, however…
The question remains is the gap decreasing or do the higher level players just care that bit less?
Shrewsbury deserved to beat West Ham, Fleetwood held Leicester, Wigan were pegged back late on by Bournemouth and these are all before Forest blew Arsenal away and Coventry City ended a managerial reign.
With the notable exception of Wengers’ men, we feel it only fair to say that the PL clubs sent out strong sides with a small number of changes that you would deem acceptable based on past seasons and a relatively busy recent schedule.
Dropping out of the big time you’d find an array of other “shocks.” Villa, Brentford and QPR all crashed out at home to lower league opposition whilst Mansfield and Carlisle held Championship opposition in 0-0 stalemates.
Yes, there will be the inevitable increase in performance from lower level players, especially when the TV cameras are in presence but is there more too it?
We genuinely believe the gap is closing between the 4 professional leagues in the English game. We are seeing bang average players be transferred for 10’s of millions and on some occasions it’s nothing more than footballing snobbery. Look at the lads at Bristol City, did many of us know of them? Why have they not been linked with bigger clubs? Are scouts just being sent abroad?
Prime example – 2 of the best performing left backs in the country are Barry Douglas (Wolves) & Andy Robertson (Liverpool) they have both plied their trade for Queens Park and Dundee United but it has taken needless additional years before having their talent recognised, they both transferred in the summer for a combined £11m, 1/3 of the fee for Luke Shaw or 1/5 of that for Benjamin Mendy.
The clubs without the guaranteed revenue streams which are provided to the top table teams are working harder, becoming more technically able and appear to just want it more.
The Prem does provide excitement but it is becoming far too much about the money and not about the football, it’s about not losing and only in the league. For many the FA Cup is nothing more than a distraction and you wouldn’t be surprised if the players were told “it’s all about next week and three points.”
With the top 4 virtually an exclusive club surely many of these managers need to finally realise that their best chance of recognition is a cup run with an “unfashionable club.” It would once again be refreshing to see a winner in the mould of a Wigan Athletic.
What this does mean, is that lower level clubs need to be taken a lot more seriously and the coming rounds treated just like a league game.
With only 4 PL sides guaranteed to progress could we be on for an all non PL final?
MK Dons vs Sheffield United anyone?
The FA Cup will continue to divide opinion amongst the purists, but for now it is still one of Europe’s premier competitions. We just need to hope that it is continued to be taken seriously by the majority and it creates similar magic and stories to those it has in the past.

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Has the January transfer window lost it’s purpose?

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 Like most things in football these days, or at least in the top leagues across the world, everything is done for the purpose of money. The clubs sing to the hymn sheets created by the constant search for financial gain. But, has it become such a way that the January transfer window has become another way to spin money and highlight the World elite to even more sponsors and the such like?

The Background

When the January transfer window was brought to the attention, as a concept, to Europe’s elite football associations it was initially frowned upon by most. That was in 1992/93, eventually in 1999 most of Europe had agreed to a transfer window commencing in mid-December through to the end of January. The Premier League, however, were relying on a final vote to determine whether or not the league and its clubs would be in or out.

Terry Venables. Godfarther of the 1992 Transfer window decision

In that vote 3-4 of the smaller clubs voted against the impending new transfer window in fear of their club collapsing if they couldn’t do business through other months of the year when profits could potentially be higher. The rest of the league voted in favour.
Then, in 2000, with FIFA under enormous pressure from the European Commission to wind up its whole transfer system, due to accusations being made that the system was breaching the Treaty of Rome. FIFA got an almighty kick up the rear and almost immediately came up with a compromise.
The compromise was to include compulsory transfer windows across its leagues, to prevent the issues that the Bosman debacle had created in 1995.

Jean-Marc Bosman – The game changer. Won a ruling in the European high court which banned restrictions on foreign EU players within national leagues and allowed players in the EU to move to another club at the end of a contract without a transfer fee being paid.

It got to 2001 and the Premier league had still not agreed to the proposals put forward by FIFA, however the rest of Europe had and even the European Commission were now on board with FIFA’s plans.
Finally, in 2002/03 the Premier League and its teams succumbed to mounting pressure and accepted the proposals.

As it stands…

You could probably ask all the managers in the Premier league for their opinions on the January window and the old fashioned managers (the likes of Pardew, Moyes & Allardyce) will tell you it causes unnecessary problems and disruption midway through a season.
The new managers, however, have almost been brought up on the reality of the format being here to stay. They almost certainly utilise it better and often, because of that, get more support and backing financially from the board above them at their respective clubs.
Ultimately, the idea of this current window wasn’t really something the Premier League wanted. That was before the enormous amounts of television money were poured into clubs and subsequently meant the Premier League was the biggest financial money churner the world over.

The windows current image

Put simply, it’s no longer about clubs strengthening their squads. Gone is the ideology of clubs selling players to buy players, because they just don’t need to do that anymore. There’s now enough money at each Premier league club to buy a player within their means without worrying about the cost.
The January transfer window is now purely a luxury for the bigger clubs to have another opportunity to flex their muscles and bring in the big names. Some might say that’s a cynical way of looking at it, but there’s no plausible way or reasonable fact to prove it’s any different. Rarely do the clubs below the bottom half of the league go out and buy 2-3 players like they might in the summer, because they don’t have the funds like they would in the summer from things such as TV deals and kit sponsors.
The only benefit this current period in the season has for clubs not in a financial position to buy players, is the option to loan them until the end of the season – usually to try and stave off the threat of relegation – often a temporary measure that will wind up with the club following the same process the following year.

Further afield…

When you look away from the Premier League you start to see that it’s a common theme that other leagues don’t spend much in the January window and instead opt for loan deals;
 
Bundesliga 16/17 season (January): £92,124,000.
Bundesliga 16/17 season (Summer): £498,944,250.
Loan deals – Departures in Jan: 62
Loan deals – Arrivals in Jan: 40
La Liga 16/17 season (January): £25,425,000.
La Liga 16/17 season (Summer): £439,051,500.
Loan deals – Departures in Jan: 59
Loan deals – Arrivals in Jan: 54
Serie A season 16/17 (January): £88,231,007.
Serie A season 16/17 (Summer): £662,917,461.
Loan deals – Departures in Jan: 217
Loan deals – Arrivals in Jan: 184
The best example that the loan option is being exploited because of the constraints of the transfer window, much against its intention, is that of Serie A. Of the 184 arrivals to clubs in Italy in January last season, on a loan basis, 54% of those were players returning to the club they were originally contracted at. Proving once more that so often players leave in January for 12 months and then return to their former clubs. That holds no benefit for the players involved in most cases.
Another case in point and more recently is ‘Barkley-gate’ between Everton and Chelsea. Between August 2017 and January 2018, a fee of £35 million was agreed on 31st August for the injured midfielder who’d been at Everton for 13 years. The player and his agent conspired to turn down that move. Just 4 months on and while he was still injured, a new fee was agreed between the clubs meaning the selling club (Everton in this case) gets £20 million less for the lad in whom they’d invested so much. Evidently, that deal would have been agreed between the clubs and then quietly between the player, his agent and Chelsea with the latter always focused on a deal in January.

To summarise

The January transfer was not something that the elite leagues and football associations all over Europe wanted. The window was formed by FIFA to appease the mounting pressure they were under from the European Commission. Surely it’s finally time to level the playing field by abandoning the January window and hand the Premier League’s struggling clubs and managers a greater degree of stability for a whole season at a time. Ultimately becoming a way to level up the money/no money situation thats obviously apparent every season across Europe.

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