I’m the first to admit that I don’t know a thing about football. What I do know, however, is that when John Barnes starts to explain everything wrong with it, you listen. A player that was once the nation’s hero in 1984 and beyond, and an ambassador for British football, Mr Barnes has recently highlighted its major downfall. From deep-rooted racism to sky-high ticket prices and, most currently, the European Super League (which amounted to nothing within a matter of hours), the sport is starting to leave a sour taste in his mouth.
The elite clubs this week have navigated some pretty tricky PR, and dedicated supporters have wound up feeling victorious. But ticket prices stay the same. Season tickets are still impossible to come by unless you’re well connected and an official scarf costs £30.00 - so is it a victory at all? In his compelling interview with talkSPORT this week, John Barnes explains that this isn’t about the fan’s victory and it never was.
Don’t Have Time To Watch The Video? Here Are Some of Mr Barnes’ Most Powerful Points:
“There’s been a power struggle between elite groups that control football to exploit the fans...it was just a question of who’s going to exploit them.”
“Have the fans really won? All of those Chelsea fans outside the ground. How many of them do you think can get tickets for the game?”
“This started in 1992, when an elite group of five clubs pulled away and enticed the fifteen other clubs in the premier league to pull away from the football league to the detriment of League 1,2, grassroots football and the Championship because they wanted more money for themselves.”
“We’re trying to convince the fans they’ve done it. But do you think all of a sudden the ticket prices are going to come down? Or the share prices?”
“Look at Brexit… we’ve convinced working class people that this is for them. It’s not. It’s for businessmen”
“When we talk about multi-billionaire businesses coming to football and they have to understand football, it’s the other way around. Football has to understand the nature of a multi-billion pound business.”
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