Bluedylan1 wrote: ↑Tue Jan 09, 2024 8:16 pm
I think the overwhelmingly biggest factor is money. As with wider society in the UK, the rich-poor divide has grown massively, and football as an industry is subject to the same forces that other industries are.
Under capitalism, the purpose and the goal of an entity is to make the most money, always keep growing, eradicate all opposition, remove competition and remove risk. Football clubs behave that way now, because they are such big business. The richest clubs would've happily left for the Super League and ended all competition for ever in a closed shop. There is no concern for the ''health of the game'' or a sustainable football pyramid. Under hyper capitalism, those corporations are really behaving as they should - maximising profit, eradicate the opposition and any sense of competition.
And in a different way, they actually already have a closed shop anyway. If a football club innovates and challenges the power structure with huge overachievement (Dortmund, Monaco, Brighton) they quickly get cannibalised by the richest clubs and they eventually return to the pack.
So yeah, football was better in the past, in the most important areas - the sport, the competition and the meritocracy aspect of it.
We've had a lot of improvements and innovations that have made the game better (less racism, less homophobia, more opportunities for women, less hooliganism etc etc), but the corporatisation of the sport has damaged it beyond compare.
Kids all over the country (and the world) aren't that bothered about following their local team, unless their local team is one of the giants. The entire point of football was that your local club was the representation of your local community, and then you pit your skills against other teams and communities. The club was an embodiment of certain values and was shaped by historical, geographical and political factors. Now the club is Starbucks or McDonalds.
And your can't put the toothpaste back in the tube now.