Mercifully for all of us, we live in times that lead people to express their dissatisfaction with the footballing product they are served – particularly that in the Premier League. A cursory search of the
hashtag #AgainstModernFootball will bring up pages and pages of bile being spilled over the most menial of matters in real world terms – when I looked it the first few featured a Kuwaiti flag on the City Ground, Nottingham, Ian Rush doing the Harlem Shake and a group of fans’ kneejerk reaction to something that had happened. I didn’t care enough to look what it was they were reacting to.
The problem I have with this is that its just complaining. What good will it do? To quote Michael Stipe of R.E.M., “I feel better having screamed, don’t you?”. And you might well, but it hasn’t done anything to solve the problem, to tackle the reason you feel like ranting about something.
Don’t want to see a Kuwaiti flag on the City Ground? Stop going there. Do something.
Don’t want to see Ian Rush doing the Harlem Shake? Stop following Liverpool. Do something.
Don’t want to see your club’s fans reacting to something? Stop reading what they say. Do something.
I am not Against Modern Football and resolutely so. I don’t think a lot of the people who use the hashtag are Against Modern Football, either. They’re ‘Annoyed By Something That Has Happened But Won’t Do Anything About It’. Football won’t change as long as people still pay more and more money to experience the way it is now. If you’re against the Premier League, maybe cancel your Sky subscription, stop participating in Fantasy Football, stop betting on it¹, stop buying the products than sponsor football.
Don’t just tweet something that annoys you followed with #AgainstModernFootball. You’d be as well tweeting #ComplicitInModernFootballButUnwillingToChange.
Another option, of course, is to take your enthusiasm elsewhere. As I found the Premier League dull as ditchwater, I took my patronage elsewhere. Even with access to their games, I seldom watch the Premier League; my focus is far more on the Football League and the European leagues, as I’m sure you can tell from this blog.
None of that makes me AgainstModernFootball. It makes me a consumer who exercises choice – knowing how much it costs to watch my team, I don’t do it very often. Seeing how much replica shirts are, I don’t buy them. If everybody who complains that they’re
AgainstModernFootball exercised their right to do the same, Modern Football would change.It might not be immediate, but if you continue to pay the clubs and the sponsors and continue to oil the machine, the machine will keep working. Withdraw your support the only way that truly matters and it might, eventually, make a difference. If you miss football too much, watch a local team, get involved further down the ladder. If nothing else, it will make a difference to your blood pressure as you won’t be getting het up about things you can’t control and where you, as an individual, don’t matter.
If you’re #AgainstModernFootball, put down your TV remote, take off your replica shirt, tear up your betting slip and walk away. And if you manage it, tell me how it feels.
¹This one rings particularly true to me. I’m against horse racing. In my standpoint, I don’t think participants in a sport should be killed doing it, potentially against their will. So I don’t bet on it. I don’t read about it. I don’t watch it. I accept that it goes on, but I don’t support it in any way.