Fans unite to save our clubs
Sven-Göran Eriksson move – backed by wealthy foreign investors- to become the Director of Football for Notts County is groundbreaking news.
News that will come as a revelation to Magpies fans after years of walking the tightrope of relegation.
The takeover of County – England’s oldest league club – is surprising considering their position in the league. However the fact that they are the league’s oldest club seems to have appealed to foreign investors who are keen to invest in England’s sporting history
Ten Premier League clubs like County are now backed by overseas money with more sure to follow, as the lure of the Premier League and English football attracts foreign financiers tempted to own their own club in what has became a dangerous of game of one-upmanship.
Our clubs are becoming play-things of the nouveau-riche.
I worry, with the exorbitant transfer fees burgeoning the gap between the have and have nots in the Premier League, I can envisage a future where you’ll need mega-rich backers just to survive.
When England’s biggest club Manchester United say they can’t compete in the transfer market you start to question what’s going on.
However I wouldn’t mind if foreign owners came with a sensible, benevolent approach to managing football clubs, as the Glazers have done at United. Investing when necessary and holding back when fees have become ridiculous.
Yet they are the exception, most foreign owners’ instinct is to recklessly plunge cash into the clubs they buy vis-a-vie Chelsea and Manchester City without worrying about the consequences.
Lord knows what will happen if they decide to pull their cash.
The Football Association has to step in, as the supreme power in national football they have a responsibility to protect football in the interest of the country.
Something I feel it is failing to do.
The central tenant of FA policy is to provide an atmosphere for the national team to flourish. By not challenging overseas ownership of our clubs I feel that the FA is acquiescing to owners who demand instant success and have little interest in developing young players and links with the community.
It is difficult not to get caught in the moment; most supporters see foreign investors as a joy de vivre, but why, it seems a deeply unsettling to have a club that you love in the hands of people who have feel no responsibility to the club.
In Spain, clubs like Real Madrid are run by a president, who has been elected by the clubs’ members who in-turn are dedicated supporters,hence increasing supporter participation.
In Britain we prostitute our clubs to the highest bidder. Most football supporters hold the club as close to their heart as their loved ones and yet we are happy to see them sold to businessmen with no interest in protecting the history of our clubs.
It is time for football fans and the Football Association to unite for the good of the game and keep our clubs for those who will safeguard their future.