When you’re young
Think back to when you were a kid, think back to when you first became obsessed with the beautiful game and Newcastle United.
What was it about the game that drew you in?
Was it the circular debates about finance and profits?
Was it long-term season ticket deals?
Was it signing a player and hoping that you could turn a profit on him next summer?
I doubt it.
So why do some seem to revel in these things now and offer them up as a defence against season after season of really bad football?
I have engaged in more of these circular debates than I care to remember, with people obviously far more qualified in accounting super babble than myself.
I have heard their reasoning why we should all be grateful to Uncle Mike and I have heard their bold, unsupported, claims that Newcastle United would be the next Leeds or Portsmouth without his generosity and unexplained lack of due diligence on such a massive purchase, and I will not enter these ridiculous debates any more.
The reason for this is that I simply don’t care about their accounting glee, it isn’t football and it should not occupy so much time and energy of football supporters.
The fact that it does is a sad indictment on not only the dire state that our club and support finds itself in, but also the modern game in general.
As a football fan we should not be investing (ha!) so much of ourselves into the financial side of a football club, where is the fun in that?
Unfortunately, we have been pushed into caring so much about it due to a combination of factors…
The huge TV contract money.
The financial disparity in top flight football.
FIFA FFP edicts.
An owner who has clearly demonstrated time after time that he believes in bottom line above sporting competition.
(Thanks to Adam Barnsley for this photo)
Let’s be honest here, none of us supports this team for the glory of silverware, it would be like buying a Vauxhall Viva for its racing pedigree.
We’re here because of our emotional connection to the football club and our hope that one day it can be better than it has been for quite some time.
We have had our days in the sun under Kevin Keegan and Sir Bobby, although now they seem a life time ago…we have tasted what glory could be like and many of us yearn for it to return.
Still more of us see that we are amongst the top 20 richest clubs in the world and fail to fathom why glory should not be within touching distance, surely we are capable if money really is the dominating factor in the game?
Clearly we are not, clearly we are still run as an entity to provide (free) advertising elsewhere and generate profit through cultivating assets bought with money the club did not generate. It’s a no-lose situation for those in power.
Call me old fashioned, and I echo what I said last season here, but I would be happier with an owner with less money but more passion for the game.
I know that a certain group of fans are now warming up their keyboards in a stampede to call me naïve or out of touch with how football is these days, they’re probably right about that, but they aren’t right about how we should be enjoying the game.
We have forgotten that this is a sport, an entertainment, something to identify yourself with your city, your area, your clan, it is a part of your identity.
I have had people have a go at me for not attending games but I do so because I don’t believe that what is happening at the football club, what has happened for years, is right. The game has been forgotten in the name of balance sheets and budgets.
I know that some of you are amateur accountants and get a kick out of profits, cost savings, revenue and turnover, I’m sorry but I genuinely don’t care about that.
I’m a football fan and when that becomes the most important thing about the club again, it will be better for everyone.
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