Saturday, October 14, 2006

The Most Exciting League in the World?

For the neutral, it is hard to disagree that football in England is amongst the most exciting in the world. Attendences which compare favourably with Italy or Brazil, a different winner of the league every season, the pre-season favourites regularly defeated by teams with smaller budgets, the guarantee that the excitement continues right up until the last game of the season, a high level of skill and excitement (more than 40 goals in the ten games played today), the team managed by Roy Keane getting beat 4-1...

Not the Premiership, of course, but the Championship. The players in the Premiership might be better, but the extent to which success and money are related spoils most of the games and makes it much less exciting to follow.

It's interesting to see the difference between football organised around the needs of generating profit for Rupert Murdoch and associates, and the football organised at least to some extent around the fans, such as the Bundesliga with its terraces and low ticket prices (and higher attendences than any other league in the world), the Spanish clubs owned by their fans, FC United and AFC Wimbledon, clubs owned and run by Supporters' Trusts.

Football suffers when run according to the principles of maximising profit (as anyone who watched Oxford United at the Kassam Stadium in the last 3-4 years will know). It's just a thought, but I reckon that fans who have seen how their club has been spoiled by being run by rich businessmen, or flourished since the supporters got involved, might agree that the same principle is true when it comes to their children's school or their local hospital.


At 11:37 am , Anonymous Duncan said...

This might interest


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