Against Modern Football: A Movement to Improve the Beautiful Game

Against Modern Football is a movement that has been around in Europe for about 10 years and only in these past couple of years has started to creep into Britain; hopefully for the better good. The whole idea of the Against Modern Football movement is based on several parts of the current ‘new’ and ‘modern’ game:

  • Prices of Football Matches
  • Leveraging of Debt
  • Drop in Atmosphere

The Rise of Ticket Prices

Against Modern FootballTicket prices have rose over 1000% in the past two decades, which is truly ridiculous. The idea of a fan supporting a team back in the 1950s-1960s was watching your team every week, but the constant rise of prices hinders this. We are living in a economy who have gone through a double-dip recession, 1000s of business closures throughout Europe and millions have lost jobs.

Especially for a young football fan 18-22 who would not be on a high wage bracket in their working establishment, the prices they would be paying are completely unfair. In 1989, the cheapest price for a ticket to watch Manchester United cost £3.50, which, with inflation, should cost £6.20 in today’s money. In fact, the least fans can expect to pay today is £28. The picture is worse at Anfield where tickets were £4 and now the minimum is £45; a rise of 1025%.

In a Daily Mail article it quotes the following:

‘They are beyond the reach of many younger people who used to have access to football and now, if they are interested, they are watching the game in the pub.”

“Football, by tradition, was always accessible to almost everybody, and in the current economic climate, with jobs and standards of living under threat, there is a great danger an increasing section of the community will be priced out.”

Debt

Debt in football is a constant problem and it is also linked to the problem of clubs spending money they don’t have. Financial Fair Play is slowly being introduced, but clubs are said to possibly find their way past it, but we shall see.

The idea of Financial Fair Play is that clubs cannot spend more than their turnover over a net year. Last season, 8 of the 20 Premier League clubs made a profit, while Manchester City, whose lavish funding by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan has just won them the league title, reported the greatest financial loss in the history of football: £197m.

Manchester City were also the only Premier League club whose wage bill (£174m) exceeded their turnover (£153m). Manchester United have by a clear margin the largest debt, which at this current point (April 2013) stands at an est. £300m. United also have the largest turnover in the Premier League and have had so over the past 15-20 years.

Drop in Atmosphere in English Football

Borussia Dortmund AtmospherePersonally, this is the most frustrated and disappointing area currently in English football. England clubs atmosphere has remarkably dropped over these past 10 years, and the points I made at the start all lead to this.

Currently, a fantastic example in Europe of great atmosphere is Germany and German football. Why has Germany got such a great atmosphere? 3 things: fan ownership, safe standing, and cheap tickets. There is no doubt if more clubs in Europe adopted this style we’d notice an increase in atmosphere.

Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, the two current best teams in Germany, offer season ticket prices between £60-£100! An Arsenal season ticket costs between £800 – £1000; the same Arsenal football club who have went 8 years without a trophy.

There are different forms of safe standing, the first of which are modern terraces. Morecambe FC’s Globe Arena have standing for over 4,000 spectators. Bolt-on, Fold-away, and Rail seats are the type of seats used in the Bundesliga. All German Bundesliga grounds permit standing and many have very large standing areas.

Borussia Dortmund’s Signal Iduna Park provides standing accommodation for 27,000 fans. The problem of safe standing being introduced in England is that of health and safety, which seems to be the cause of a load of issues.

Written by UtdMancunian