When football as spectator sport returns, will we rush to the turnstiles?

IT HAS been a year now since big crowds were allowed inside football stadiums. A whole 12 months and the likelihood is that 2020-21 will be a complete “behind closed doors” campaign. The world’s most popular pastime had been consigned to a TV experience lacking in atmosphere. We’ve actually got used to a game played […]

Stadiums: Learning to love the brutal building

APPARENTLY, the architectural style “brutalist” is making a comeback and people are reassessing a much-maligned school of design. Football fans, generally, are nostalgists, so the older the better as far as most are concerned. The favoured materials, for years and years, have invariably been corrugated metal and wood. Concrete, all function over form and strictly […]

Football fans should not have to pay for lost revenues

SINCE the pandemic stopped normal life in its tracks, football has been bemoaning the loss of significant sums of matchday income that have pushed some clubs to the brink.  Eventually, fans will be allowed back in the stadiums and clubs will start generating cash from admission prices. Some clubs will have suffered more than others […]

Non-League’s rainy day… time to crisis test and change the constitution

THE late Alan Hull of Lindisfarne once wrote a tune called “The Money Game” and sang that he could “smile when it’s a rainy day”, implying that he didn’t have to worry about cash when things were bad. Sadly, modern lifestyles and mass consumerism have left many people without a proverbial pot to pee in, […]

The convenience of supporting football: Why the establishment made friends with the game

WHEN football hooliganism was at its peak, culminating in the Heysel Stadium disaster in 1985, the game appeared to have played into the hands of the British government. Repeated incidents during the 1970s and 1980s meant football was already considered to be a pastime for louts, an outlet for working class yobbery. The government, led […]

Has the absence of crowds created a purer, more focused game?

THE PREMIER League has been exciting so far with virtually every game delivering entertainment, drama and no small amount of controversy. After 28 fixtures, the goal-per-game ratio is an astonishing 3.68 – that’s higher than at any time in modern football history. In 2019-20, the ratio was 2.72 and in 2018-19 2.82. The trend has […]

Non-League’s rainy day… time to crisis test and change the constitution

THE late Alan Hull of Lindisfarne once wrote a tune called “The Money Game” and sang that he could “smile when it’s a rainy day”, implying that he didn’t have to worry about cash when things were bad. Sadly, modern lifestyles and mass consumerism have left many people without a proverbial pot to pee in, […]

An hour in, I realised I had abandoned social distancing: A return to football

HOW great it was to return to a football stadium and watch a match. Admittedly, it was non-league football step three but regardless, being part of an event with 400 other people and watching live action was very stimulating. The club did all the necessary precautionary measures: temperature checks, sanitiser at the entrance, plenty of […]