What was known as the beautiful game is only but a sport mainly ruled and dictated by one element.
From hockey and taekwondo to cricket and speedway, football is arguably one of the most powerful phenomenons of all sports. Not only due to its overriding popularity, but financially, a global powerhouse.
In Britain, there is no competition. Whichever level of the footballing pyramid, there is some sort of aspect that keeps an organisation afloat and, that keeps those at the higher end of the scale to keep playing: money. Nowadays, there seems to be no sign of ‘real’ desire to play anymore. Instead, the only relevant suggestion to what may be a ‘passion’ for the sport is in the boardroom. Reasonably poorer clubs, back in the good old days, are now turning into a platform for financial gain by foreign billionaires who don’t seem to understand the true nature of what British football, particularly in England, should be about.
Specifically the top Premier League clubs seem to be the sole beneficiaries of such a change in times. World-class stadia, high-quality signings, training facilities in readiness for the next hundred years all equipped. Although other lower-end teams in the top tier aren’t exactly poor, they still can’t boast the fact of a multi-billion-pound investment that they have just been handed out of good will.
Sticking to the rules of ‘financial fair play’ looks to be one of the more tougher struggles for what were some of England’s finest clubs. On the other hand, those owned by the not so rich and famous may struggle to just keep enough in the bank to pay their staff and keep heads slightly above water.
English Football League (EFL) clubs are more than likely to liquidate sooner rather than later, especially within the depths of the professional game. That’s if the gulf in economic superpower between the top and bottom halves of the professional ladder remains an ever-growing concern. Despite this, it’s been proved that clubs in financial turmoil can rise to stability, such as AFC Bournemouth’s achievements in recent seasons both on and off the pitch. But even so, success stories are few and far between at a level, more so in the third and fourth tiers respectively, where wealth isn’t in abundance.
In hindsight, the only positive aspect of a game overshadowed by this burden is the fans. Driving on a team, whatever financial state, is something that is unrivalled, but also something that can’t be overlooked by those at the upper end of the club hierarchy.
But the importance of football is changing, and not is it the enjoyment of playing and supporting that matters to a club, but how much a business venture can make.