Feeling Bored With Football

Posted on February 9, 2007 
Filed Under General Football

I am in a full on pessimistic period where Blues are concerned. I must admit that most interviews I see are met with a shrug of the shoulders and almost all quotes I treat with cynicism. The most enthusiasm I can muster at the moment is to do a daily news round-up, and even then, it’s a chore.

I want something exciting to happen. The transfer window is now shut (although the emergency loan window is open!) and we don’t exactly look like a team who are set to take a game by the scruff of the neck and have a go at someone. The manager seems content to play dull, negative tactics, the club are still happy to pinch every penny and overall, supporting Blues doesn’t seem like much fun anymore.

I had a conversation the other day with two fellow supporters. They both declared that the game is currently in the best state it’s ever been in. More people are watching, the choice of games to see is expanding, the players are better, the pitches are better, the facilities are better and it’s more exciting than it’s ever been.

Both supported Manchester United.

I tried to reason that perhaps they found it that way because they supported a big club and had chances to win trophies. I argued that for everyone who supported smaller clubs, it was a different sport. The one Manchester United fan didn’t really get it at all I don’t think. As far as he was concerned, the game’s got the biggest audience it’s ever had so therefore, it’s all gravy and I should be quiet because we’ve never won anything and nothing will change that – regardless of where the game’s going.

But that was my whole point. I don’t really have a problem with us not having won anything. I just want the chance to be able to win things. Only a very small number of clubs will ever be able to win anything again and so everyone else is already playing for a different prize to that small number of elite clubs.

The idea of playing Premiership football next season is, for me personally, not all that exciting. Sure it’ll be great to see the cream of the crop at St Andrew’s but scratching around for 8-10 wins a season and a good cup run – and being charged extortionate amounts to do so – seems unexciting and dull.

I’m feeling cynical about Blues – and football – at the moment and it’s hard to get motivated when the game seems to be moving away from where I want it to be. With each passing week I seem to be getting more interested in different sports – sports that seem to have more of a level playing field and, as a result, come across a lot more exciting and competitive.

What’s the point in 90% of clubs out there turning up any more? What’s the point in carrying on whining about this? I don’t even know what or why I’m typing any more!

I guess football clubs work on the principle that football fans aren’t like any other type of customer and will – regardless of how they’re treated – remain steadfastly loyal. From my own experience, this seems to be changing somewhat and fans of smaller clubs (and I include Birmingham City in that) are beginning to get turned off by the greed and unfairness of the game and its inner-workings.

I can’t comment on what the game was like twenty or thirty years ago. Maybe, as people have said to me, it’s just a natural shift in footballing power every ‘x’ amount of years and that I should get used to it and hope that one day, my club is part of that shift. My big worry is that if the game keeps going the way it is, we’ll never, ever see a natural shift in footballing power again.

I accept that certain clubs are much more likely to be bigger than others. It’s not as if I expect Rochdale to compete with Chelsea or Macclesfield to suddenly fire up the divisions and pose a threat to Liverpool. But it’d be nice to know that on day, another club like Wimbledon might come along and punch well above its weight for a prolonged period or that someday, a club will come out of nowhere to win the title.

People can try and convince me that the title race is exciting and the Premiership is the best and most exciting league in the world but all I see is:

1. Big club
2. Big club
3. Big club
4. Big club
———-
5. – 20. Everyone else

I don’t care what order the big clubs finish in. Whether Chelsea add a trophy to their shelf or Manchester United do it again, it’s immaterial to me. And I suppose where all the little clubs finish is immaterial to the supporters of the big clubs. But I suppose the way I see it is that all clubs in the same division should be of roughly the same size and possibly the same ambition – therefore it’s not a ‘them’ and ‘us’ scenario. Right now that how I see it.

It was Watford boss Aidy Boothroyd who – going off the top of my head – said that Watford’s turnover was 4% of that of Manchester United. He compared it to Mohammed Ali boxing against Little Jimmy Crankie! And whilst it’s an amusing cartoon style animation in my head, the idea of two clubs so mismatched in size in the same division is truly a sad reflection of what I think football should ultimately be like.

Meh, out of love with the game at the moment and, as a reflection, this blog will probably be quite a depressing place to be at times over the next few months! I’m not sure if I have a warped view of what football is like or whether other supporters genuinely feel like I do. I know some do since I’ve spoken to them but overall, am I one of just a few moaners who’ll never be happy or part of a slowly building army who will eventually take the game and demand change?

Yours depressingly,

Aff
- Former die-hard ‘Nose and football fan, currently contemplating giving up caring so much.

Comments

18 Responses to “Feeling Bored With Football”

  1. Tired and Weary on February 9th, 2007 6:55 pm

    Football appears to be one industry not effected by the monopolies comission. The fans of those clubs would argue that 4 is not a MONOpoly. But when it’s 4 out of god knows how many clubs, I’d say it was an unacceptable minority.

    People criticise the Leeds board of 7 years ago. But at least Leeds had a go. It is very posiible one game destroyed that club, all was risked on Champions League football. Had they got on, and if my memory serves me correctly, at the expense of Liverpool or Chelsea. I think it was Chelsea, we could have had a bit more competition for the Premiership.

    They (fans of Man United, Chelsea, and to an extent Arsenal and Liverpool) may enjoy their elite battles. But as I’ve said before, they can’t take the satisfaction of Boro’s League Cup triumph, or Sheff Wednesdays win in the same competition years ago, or Leeds title before the Premiership.

    Had we won the Worthington Cup, it would have meant the world to us. To Man United it is treated as a consolation prize, since Chelsea, and Mourinho mainly started to give the competiton credibility again, all the big clubs want it now.

    As Aff said, its a dreadful scenario that two teams in the top league are so far apart. It’s the same in Spain and has been for some time, but I don’t like the thought of the English Premiership going the same way. We like a fair fight in this country. Man United fans have the perspective of a season, where as we tend to treat the league game by game. They expect to win, we hope to.

    I think they miss out on something. If I wasn’t supporting the Blues, I’d be more inclined to switch to a club lower down the leagues, than one higher up.

    If it continues, the top clubs need not play against the others, and the league will be determined purely on the results between each other.

  2. Dave Warren on February 9th, 2007 7:10 pm

    I completely agree with everything you say. Football has lost it’s way completely – at least at the highest level. Two years ago, my son and I gave up our Blues season tickets (I have been going since I was eight – 40 years ago – and can remember when Fred Pickering was our centre forward).

    It was a hard thing to do – harder for me than my son – but I am so glad I did. We now follow non league Bromsgrove Rovers home and away, watch real passionate football where players would not dream of hobbling off with a tweeked ankle but rather are dragged reluctantly off with blood pouring from head injuries.

    Everyone cares, but not enough to beat each other up. You can chat to the players before and after the game. And to be honest with you (and here is the most interesting thing) the standard of football is not so much different to what you see at St Andrews.

    I have seen some terrific games this season – some boring ones too – but that’s football. Rovers are in the running for a play-off spot which will mean an exciting finale to the season. And whatever happens I will be back there next season.

    Sure, I miss Blues at times. But I don’t care like I used to. Why should I? The players don’t.

  3. mole56 on February 9th, 2007 7:20 pm

    Just look a Scotland they have had the any one from two situation for years, as much as we might not like it, it’s here to stay, try to find one quality league in europe that does not have a two or three team monopaly. At least we (BCFC) are in a more competitive situation in the pop league, but who wants to be there?

  4. snashy on February 9th, 2007 8:27 pm

    Everyone wants their team to win.
    For me I ain’t too bothered we haven’t won a trophy or will get stuffed 7-0 by Liverpool back in the Prem .
    Just the odd surprise win at the weekend gives you a buzz at work and you feel as if lifes not so bad after all.
    So long as we don’t assume its our god given right to be in the Prem we should get there , if we believe all the hype – but this division is unforgiving – hence you get trounced by Southend !!
    Top of Champ. or mid of Prem I aint fussed just give us the cheer factor and win…..

  5. Signmaker on February 9th, 2007 10:07 pm

    Keep right on snashy, my thoughts exactly
    By the way Aff, you never give uo caring once you’ve been bitten and you never change the club you support.
    as I was told as a lad ” never trust a man who changes his support or his politics ” not so sure about the second option now.

    KRO

  6. keep right on! on February 9th, 2007 10:40 pm

    I AGREE WITH EVERYTHING AFF HAS SAID ABOUT THE STATE OF OUR BELOVED GAME AND THE KNOCK ON EFFECT IT IS HAVING ON OUR CLUB BUT WE BLUES SUPPORTERS ARE BORN WITH BLUE BLOOD AND ARE MADE OF STURDY STUFF PROBERBLY BECAUSE WE HAVE TO WATCH THE CLUB SEAEON IN SEASON OUT PRESS THE SELF DESTRUCT BUTTON FOR WHAT EVER REASON OR SO IT SEEMS AND YES THE BOARD THE PLAYERS AND FOOTBALL IN GENERAL TAKES ADVANTAGE OF US LOYAL FANS BUT AS I SAID IME BORN A BLUENOSE AND ILE KEEP RIGHT ON

  7. bluenose jordan on February 10th, 2007 12:06 am

    dont give it up aff it needs you lol you have blues blood not red

  8. oldburyblue on February 10th, 2007 2:44 am

    I have said it before..and am sure I will say it again. I go to The Blues in the hope of seeing MY team beat another team. If that other Team is ManU, Liverpool, Arsenal or Chelsea all well and good, but I get just as much enjoyment when we beat Mansfield, Luton, Aldershot or Colchester!! When we play the top teams I dont hope to see their star players play wonderful football and ’stuff’ us in the process..on the contrary, I hope they all have ’stinkers’ and we manage to beat them!

    We, like the vast majority of teams, are there just to make up the numbers whilst the top, top teams take all the prizes. Hard fact, but true. We are, and always have been in my lifetime, a big fish in a small pool. ie. a top 2nd League team or a poor/average top League team.

    My most memorable moments over the years do not involve playing in the Top Division. My happiest memories mostly involve promotion. Very rarely is it boring watching Blues. If we’m not going for promotion..we’m fighting relegation!

    If you accept the above, you enjoy the ‘Highs’ but don’t get too worried over the ‘Lows’. If we win a few consecutive games it gives us all a lift. Do the fans of the ‘top’ teams experience that I wonder or do they just get depressed on the odd occasion they lose..being so used to winning all the time?

  9. John Baker on February 10th, 2007 6:16 am

    Aff, in regard to:

    ‘1. Big club
    2. Big club
    3. Big club
    4. Big club’

    The answer is right there, so I’m going to take a big club and bring ya’ back to yer back to yer senses!

    *thwack*

    There, yo alright now chuck?

  10. Richy on February 10th, 2007 6:17 am

    Prozac lad, thats what you need.

  11. delbof on February 10th, 2007 8:28 am

    How many players in each team for a gane of ProZac and is it any different from a game of Amateur zac

    KRO

  12. Aff on February 10th, 2007 10:08 am

    I think John’s club did the trick :-P

    As for Prozac, been there, done that :)

  13. Bazzathebluenose on February 10th, 2007 10:27 am

    Never mind our Aff. What yow need is one o’ them lectric shocks through yower brain. Things could alwayys be wurse! Think on it- yow could be a Viler! *!”%!!*** Then we’d ‘av to shoot ya!

    KRO Aff. Without you there would be no Joys & Sorrows. There’s always the next match to look forward to.

    KRO SOTV

  14. philip griffiths on February 10th, 2007 10:42 am

    i think that a rethink into how we reward clubs for there efforts needs to take place
    the one thing that sticks out to me is that when the season starts it is not a level playing field
    take the case of rotherham they were deducted 10 points for going into adminstration
    obviously this is a direct result of bad financing
    now apply this to the likes of liverpool£80 million in debt the solution find another owner and write off the debit
    my solution would be to penalise the debt with a points deduction at tthe start of every season
    hence well run clubs would benifit
    philip

  15. Ribeyeblue on February 10th, 2007 12:26 pm

    I have some sympathy with much of what Aff says here.

    The gap between the biggest 4-6 clubs and the rest has widened to worrying proportions in recent years and this seems to have been to the detriment to much of what people hold dear in the game. There are many aspects to this, both on the pitch (reduced opportunity for English talent, over-paid players, club loyalty) and off it (ticket prices, foreign ownership, competition).

    One footballing aspect that annoys me most is what seems like a god-given expectation by the bigger clubs to win something/everything every season. So what’s wrong with that? Well it seems to have reached the point this season where ‘big club’ managers find fault with ‘lesser’ clubs who turn up and don’t play in a style which allows the big club to win! Do we really need to add that kind of arrogance to the list of negatives?

    Perhaps its time for a radical, ‘lesser’ club revolution. Tell the Premiership to go shove it where the floodlights don’t shine and go form another ‘Division 1′ structure. Effectively, run off with the ball and leave the bullies to play on their own. At least it would level the pitch (except Stans of course where we would still play on a ploughed field) and we could start having a competetion with a majority of British-born players. Back to reality, this would never be allowed to happen because as soon as UEFA and FIFA suggested thay might support such a proposal they would be threatened with a Russian missile strike.

    As things stand, I think the majority of clubs fans are having to radically adjust their expectation levels; what is considered success today (promotion, Premiership survival) is not going to include silverware. Well, actually what about a trophy for finishing 17th in the Prem? It could be called the F***ing Almost Cup (FA Cup) and come with a place in Europe via the InterToto. Imagine the added fun of trying to finish one place lower than 16th without hitting the relegation places? Radical. And we may at last get the chance to build a new trophy cabinet.

  16. Eddie Brown on February 10th, 2007 7:03 pm

    Whatever happened to the famous Brummie sense of humour Aff?
    This is the Blues you support, with a history of crap managers, dodgy owners, and fans taking the piss out of themselves.
    Some things never change but here we are with a board who’ve bought the most expensive players in the division!
    Is this season any less exciting than last season or is it better ? We might win something instead of getting plummelled 7-0. Less quality OK.
    Come on the big clubs I say, keep the English co-efficient high, stuff Platini, 4 in the champions league and maybe one year some unstylish club from south Brum might sneak in!

    …though the way be long let your heart beat strong….

    PS not a bad set of results this Saturday !!

  17. Anthony on February 10th, 2007 10:44 pm

    I’ve watched Blues for a long time and I agree with a lot of what has been posted. I don’t like the premier league and all the hype that goes with it. I think the number of foreign investors in premiership clubs will have a radical effect on the way the Premiership is administered. Americans don’t invest tens or hundreds of millions of pounds into football clubs because they’re philanthropists. They’ll want some financial return and that means hard nosed business decisions. Clubs outside the premiership will become even more marginalised. To be honest, I’d sooner see Blues as a successful small club than premiership stragglers because we haven’t got untold billions behind us. Just look at West Ham; tens of millions spent on transfers, millions more committed to contracts. Do we want that?

  18. Ash G on February 10th, 2007 11:41 pm

    I disagree with all this doom and gloom. In recent years, a lot of the teams that have gone up have had an immediate impact. look at West Ham and Wigan last year. Both came up, got to 2 different cup finals, and West Ham could easily have won theirs. and this season, Reading have been a fantastic success story. Why could the same thing not happen to us? i mean, we got to a final a few years ago, why couldnt it happen again? When (if) we go back up, we’ve got as much chance as any other ’small’ club of having an odd success, granted we’ll probably never have sustained success, which is disappointing, but most clubs outside if the big 4 never will either.

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You have arrived at the archive site of the Birmingham City blog Joys & Sorrows. If you were looking for fresh, meaty stuff then this way, please.

This section of the site covers the blog portion of J&S from 26th April 2006 - when the site returned after a catastrophic hosting failure causing the loss of over 500 articles - to 28th April 2008 - when I decided to have a prolonged rest from the site.

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