England Fans Disappear As Jack Colback Called Up
The two things are pure coincidence, but the first England call up for Jack Colback will see the national team post easily their worst attendance since Wembley was rebuilt, as England fans disappear.
Only seventeen thousand advance tickets have been sold for England’s home match with Norway next Wednesday (3rd September), with the crowd on the night likely to be in the mid-thirty thousands.
While the Premier League can paper over the cracks with the ever increasing TV revenue and buying in of players to constantly re-sell it as a supposedly premium product. There appears to have been a ‘Wizard Of Oz’ type revelation after the latest feeble England efforts this summer.
The fact that England have played in front of capacity, or at least near-capacity, crowds in friendlies against minnows in recent years, is surely thanks to one of the greatest marketing (duping) exercises ever seen. Back in the eighties for example before football became sexy (marketable) again, England crowds were often feeble and for example in 1989 England played Chile at Wembley in front of only 15,628 and in 1990 (pre-Italia ’90 World Cup) they played Czechoslovakia in front of only 21,342.
Many fans will take satisfaction at the fact the England cash cow is now on its knees, with the previous lowest crowd (48,876 v Sweden in 2011) easily beaten.
(To feature like Dean, send in your articles for our website to [email protected])
Recent tournaments have seen genuine fans more and more marginalised in terms of access to tickets for World Cups and European Championships, as the corporate sector has hoovered up massive numbers of tickets for the premium matches, at the expense of ordinary supporters.
In addition, the massive success of taking England around the country and playing at St.James’ Park and other club stadiums was instantly ditched, simply to finance the stupidity, greed and elitism of the authorities, with all national team matches having to be played at the new Wembley.
The last thing on their minds was how this would affect somebody living in for example, Newcastle, and the massive expense and logistical problems of getting to Wembley, especially midweek.
The authorities were more than happy to fill up Wembley with tourists and people interested in going to an ‘event’, ticking off the item on their list which said ‘see Stevie G etc’. Happy to have customers rather than fans with a lasting interest in the national team, something which was undoubtedly helped and rekindled by taking matches around the country.
I don’t think we’ll suddenly see people booking up expensive last minute trips to travel from Newcastle and watch Jack Colback sit on the bench on Wednesday – let’s hope it is a wake up call for those who run our game, though I very much doubt they’ll listen until it is too late.
If you would like to feature on The Mag, submit your article to [email protected]