Fickle Fans And Footballs Financial Fallacies

5 Min Read
941 words

Hey Jessports fans

The world of European club football has been rocked over the last week, not by a pandemic, no they found a way around that to still be able to milk their TV deals and merchandise sales.

No, it was the attempted plan to start a brand new league where all the elite clubs from across the continent would play one another. Once the news broke, fans were up in arms, and everyone with a pulse and an arsehole would share their opinion on the topic, myself included in this post.

For those of you who actually have a life, the TLDR is that fans don't want these "local" clubs to leave their current competitions because of some silly arbitrary rules by some random centralised body and nostalgia and history.

I love taking the other side of the argument, and because the moral arguments are such bullshit cases, I thought I'd make a go for why this moral relativism doesn't hold up.

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Fans are customers, not stakeholders

As much as fans think they have a voice, they don't. You're just a bunch of customers, and there are more of you to go around. These clubs realise that a few loudmouths appealing to moral relativism don't have the pull to affect their bottom lines.

In fact, many of these fans are so engrossed in the branding and psychologically associating themselves with these sporting franchises that even after voicing their discontent, they'll continue to support them with their wallets.

Unless you have a majority stake in a club or business, you don't have a say in what they do. Sure, you can boycott them, but there's more than enough fans willing to keep buying that slice of success that makes them feel good about themselves to keep these clubs going.

Remember, clubs are businesses, they will outlive you, and when you're dead and gone, that history won't mean as much to the next generation, so you're fighting a losing battle.

Football was commercialised a long time ago

Football has been commoditised ages ago; the passion and history are sold off in pretty marketing, sponsored merchandise, crafted narratives to the tune of something Vince McMahon would be proud to say he scripted. If you can't see the kayfabe surrounding modern football, then I can't help you. But it doesn't take many brain cells to see a lot of what keeps fans engaged are crafted talking points from referee and VAR decisions to player and staff reactions.

If you really think that football was authentic, surely, there would be weeks without drama, but having drama each week that is scripted into the system. The game is based on ratings, based on clicks, based on viewership, based on sales they can actively track. Do you really think they are not monitoring this and leveraging this data to improve the product?

Yes, football is a product; make no mistake about it.

Making a mockery of a meritocracy

I hear this argument that football can't be bought. It's about merit but seriously, cut the shit already. The manufactured merits of professional football are not something you can build a sound argument on.

How can you say football is about merits when clubs can simply fund themselves to success. We've seen this with PSG, Man City and a host of new money clubs. The old guard has had sweetheart deals from the leagues and TV deals such as Real Madrid and Barca.

Merits didn't mean shit then; you accepted the gerrymandering of football for years; now that they want to change, who gets to do the gerrymandering? You're up in arms. Can you not see how asinine these arguments are?

Thes clubs are already global brands

The reason these clubs can spend the amount they do, bring in the players they have and demand the fees they demand is that they are global brands. Liverpool and Barcelona are no longer local clubs playing for the pride of their city. They've been commercialised and sold off for the price of an admission ticket, a jersey, a pay per view or a tv subscription.

What makes it even dumber is people who have NO affiliation, but their own decision, fans who have never been to these countries or cities are making the home town argument.

Why are you not supporting your local club in your nation with the same passion?

Fans are just that, fans

At the end of the day, if you don't have ownership or stake, you can only play one part in this system. You're nothing but a fan, you can pick the team you support, but your opinion only goes as far as the armchair.

If you really felt that passionate about the issue, you'd start a new club, start a consortium to purchase the club or boycott and support a new club. But you won't, so what the point of throwing your hands up and yelling at people and telling them what to do with their property when you have no stake in the game?

Have your say

What do you good people of HIVE think?

So have at it, my Jessies! If you don't have something to comment, "I am a Jessie."

Let's connect

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