Roger Mitchell, Chairman of GiveMeSport, and former SPL CEO, writing for GiveMeSport:
Two events this week alluded to Hemingway’s bell.
In reality, these separate incidents, in different ways, suggest the death knell for the end of the amateur and meritocratic soul of European football.
Overly melodramatic for impact? I don’t think so.
Simply, we are witnessing the ruthless elimination, by stealth, of the financial and sporting uncertainty which has been at the core of Association Football, since it was invented in the 1870s, (a mere 100 years after America became a nation.) More from our American cousins later.
There is a case to argue that we are moving, nae, have moved, to the hated franchise commercial model.
Fans weren’t asked. Probably because we would never have agreed. Indeed, fans and their mega clubs are increasingly uncomfortable bedfellows. But the new reality is here, and most of us were asleep at the wheel. Shame on us.
This amateur sport, the most popular game in the world, grew its DNA and developed its soul from British clubs of deep working-class tradition, like Celtic and Arsenal. So, it is neatly appropriate that the clanging chimes of doom this week came from Parkhead and Highbury.
It’s very true that football is becoming more and more commercialised, and I’m not talking about the wages, or transfer fees, but how the clubs are ran nowadays. With all these foreign investors slowly buying the football clubs, they’re turning them into plain businesses. No need to worry about trophies, or about the actual fans, but instead how it can boos their portfolio.
As an Arsenal fan myself, I’m experiencing this quite a lot with the majority shareholder, and soon to be full owner of the club, Stan Kroenke. This will mean no more transparency, no more AGM, no input at all.