Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Soccer is unfair

Yesterday I signed up for Sky Sports. When satellite broadcasting began I had a satellite box that received all the movies and all the sports but there was no slot for a card. At that time you didn't pay a subscription. Then you had to pay so I upgraded and continued to get the sport. I moved six years ago and hadn't signed up to Sky again till yesterday. I will watch football. I really like rugby but my favourite sport is American Football. So you now know that I will not be following any of my other interests when the dish gets fitted.

There are many things that I like about American Football but today I will just share two of them. It is a family friendly sport. The fans can mix. They don't chant rude things to each other. They must be intelligent because they know at least half the rules of the game. The second thing is that the organisation of the sport is such that there is a bias towards the underdog. If you finish as the worst team in the league then you get the first choice from the best players who are turning professional that year. There may be teams that can dominate for up to a decade but American Football teams have lean years.

I think there is a link between these two points. Soccer, as the Americans refer to our game, is unfair. The big four teams remain the best teams because they have the most money, they buy the best players, they win and they get more money. If the organisation is unfair then why not the tactics on the pitch? Just the way that commentators treat referees reinforces the idea of unfairness. In England referees are wrong. In America they are right, and if there is a probability that the fans are right and referees are wrong then don't be surprised if abuse is chanted from the terraces. Fortunately you can't usually hear the fans on television.

Change the world.

1 comment:

  1. The beginning of your last paragraph is incorrect - there is not a direct correlation between spending on players and gaining results.

    One of the "Big Four" that you claim spends their way to success are Arsenal - whose transfer deficit is lower than teams like Aston Villa, Tottenham, Man City, even Newcastle.

    It's not even true that the "Big Four" earn the most money - Chelsea's income, I believe, is really quite average. They've just been bankrolled for a few years by a kleptocrat from Russia, who gained his money from a state engaged in "fair" income distribution.