The evolution of the beautiful game.

In life, nothing stays the same. Everything changes and  everything evolves.

I guess that this is a good thing, because without evolution we would all be living in mud huts, dressed in rags, while dragging our partners home by the hair in order to eat brontosaurus burgers.

Basically, without evolution we would all be living in Pennywell.

So my question is, has evolution in football been a good thing?

Its hard to believe but there was a time when football wasn’t shown live on our screens, apart from the cup final. Therefore this was a huge national event. Even now, I still remember the score and scorers of every cup final from the first I watched in 1967 (Spurs v Chelsea)  all the way through to 2000 and a  game we should have been in.

When live games began on the telly in the 1980s, Newcastle United were certainly not a box office draw, so our few televised games  also stick in my memory.

Such as Liverpool 0-4 at Anfield, for which I still have the VHS video tape,  West ham 4-0 with  Andy Thomas being the hero and the 1990  cup-tie against Man Utd when we lost 2-3.

There was also another game that may have escaped you, which was our 6-6  game with Tranmere in the Zenith Data Systems cup, which  we lost on pens of course. This was in the very early days of Sky when that’s all they had to show us.

How things have changed.

Now it’s live games virtually every day of the week and the excitement they used to generate has disappeared with the saturation.

I look at it like this. When I was kid, getting your hands on a copy of Parade or Club International was the height of erotic literature.

Now, if you wanted to see an Ostrich in stockings being spanked by a bloke dressed in lederhosen, there is a website for you. Obviously, I have no idea how true that is, so it must have been some bloke at work who told me about…

You really can get too much of a good thing.

The game in the 80s was still local and pretty amateurish. Newcastle belonging to a solicitor, a ground you wouldn’t keep livestock in and TV rights that were worth next to nothing. Now it’s worth billions and it’s not finished yet.

Netflix or Amazon to take it to the next level and possibly off terrestrial TV?

A European Superleague where the elite can play with themselves while selling their souls to the far east?

But in my opinion there is a huge Elephant in the room.  That is the crowds. I  believe there is a looming problem as my geriatric generation disappear from the grounds.

Will the 16 year olds of today turn up on a freezing November day, or will they simply log on and pay a fiver to watch the game on a Saturday / Sunday / Monday?

While I agree that crowds make no real impact on profits for clubs these days, empty stands make our game as attractive as the Austrian  or Belgian league.

So what’s the game going to look like in five years?

For what it’s worth, I think a European league is inevitable. It’s hard to believe but if this had been considered in 1996 or 2003 we might have got an invite. This league will attract the major TV rights and that will leave Newcastle United playing in an English league with teams on a relatively level playing field. Maybe that could be a good thing.

You never know, we might even win the reintroduced Zenith Data Systems cup.

On second thoughts, we probably wouldn’t.

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  • Paul Patterson

    Well I’m off to spank my ostrich . .

    • Andy Mac

      I think you’ll find its monkey not ostrich ? 🤔

  • JohnnyH

    Reform in the game is long overdue to give future generations of fans the incentive to go to support their team of choice.
    Sadly I doubt this will ever happen because the game is ran on corruption from top to bottom.
    They don’t give a f#ck about the future of the game, only what they can get out of it for themselves while they’re in office.
    Just look at Scudamore winding up for a £5 million whip round, when all he really deserves is a massive kick in the knackers.

  • Down Under Mag

    Everything about the game is just about who can suck it as dry as possible for their own ends.

    • Billmag

      The biggest scandal in football is the amount of money taken out by agents that put nothing back into the game.

  • nufcslf

    The idea of a so called ‘Super League’ is pathetic and geared towards sheep that don’t acrually support a team and just watch football. I know I won’t watch a songle game. I don’t even bother with the Champions League now. Money has f**ed all sports and made them barely worth watching at the best of times. This could be the end for me.

    • Kenny

      Plenty of sheep around and that`s the problem they`ll put up with any old krap, Newcastle being a prime example.

      • nufcslf

        So true and so sad. I watched the second half of the win over Bournmouth again and was even more in shock that it still finished 2-1 to us. Best league in the world ‘My Rse’. As for yet another bloody International break……just a chance to get some jobs done around the house, I think….

    • JohnnyH

      Me too
      Just another money maker for the corrupt scum who run the game.

  • Kenny

    Apart from a few elite teams the standard of football is getting worse,
    there was a time i wouldn`t miss a game, now i couldn`t give a flyng about quite a few of them.
    a lot of games are just to boring to watch, massed defences in the fear of relegation because there is to much money to be lost, players on £100,000 to £300,000 a week who can`t even get a regular place in their 1st team.
    you just had to watch the World Cup to realise it`s World Wide not just in England & Europe.
    A England team that got to the semi-final by beating a couple of championship standard sides & then losing to any decent team they played.
    Yes, it`s getting worse not better.

    • Peaky

      Man City’s financial dealings are coming more and more under scrutiny…..the same with PSG….I think a big implosion of some sort is imminent and tbh if that’s what it takes to get the game back so be it.

    • Billmag

      Well said 👍.

  • Stephen

    What’s that website address?

  • Paul Patterson

    A European Super League has been talked about since the early 2000’s and yes we would probably have been invited.
    It’s the bit that I read about the founding members being immune from relegation for 20 years at least which worries me. THAT IS NOT SPORT. What would the point of those teams playing fixtures be? They can lose every match but not get relegated back to the domestic league? While the top teams left back in England will be grateful for an invite if they finish top of the Premiership? Incredible.
    The point of that is and always will be- bigger tv audiences and in the end – money.

  • DeadToiler

    I personally wouldn’t mind a league without Man City, Liverpool, Chelsea et al. Let them go it would be more competitive without them. After a few seasons of finishing in the bottom half of a dead league their fans would get bored and want to come back. But they wouldn’t be allowed.

  • killymag

    I want to see some of the worlds finest players and want to see my team win. what happens if they dont win , just keep on lowering the standard of the opponents until we are capable of victory . Victory to the Fat Lad a local Derby V West Allotment viewed by 52.000 happy clappers

  • DeadToiler

    The amount of money in the game is obscene. The best thing would be if the European league was a total failure and Sky and the rest pulled out.

  • Coble’s Return

    The so called “Big Clubs” should be careful what they wish for. In England, the top clubs didn’t like sharing revenue with the other clubs, so they formed the Premier League. Then, the regular top six decided that they wanted a bigger slice of the pie still, so they pushed the rest of the EPL clubs to agree to weight the overseas TV revenue in their own favour. The result being that wealth is concentrated amongst the few and competition is eroded.

    If a breakaway happens, then initially there may be a decent competition to watch, but greed breeds greed and you can bet that whichever teams leads in Europe will then demand a greater share of that pot. Given that English teams have won the Champions League only four times since the Heysel ban in 1985, the two Manc teams, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal are deluding themselves if they think that they will thrive in a new league.

    • Billmag

      Good post.

  • toonterrier

    Cap the players wages and if they’re not playing give them a basic salary so they work harder to get into the team instead of taking big bucks for doing nowt. Also cut down the number of foreign players and give the young up and coming lads a chance. Maybe also pay the manager on results and make sure the money coming into the club from Sky and BT is invested in players and not used to line the owners pocket.

  • Steve Smith

    This new woman who’s got the Scudamore job will make it happen sadly.

    No background in sport? Check.

    “Progressive” hire that will naturally push against tradition? Check.

    Track record of selling out to increase viewing figures? Check.

    We’ll have alien sasquatch gold hunters airing on the new 24/7 premier league tv channel soon.

  • Rich Lawson

    Clubs who profit so much from Sky/Sponsorship should reward the people who support/turn up to the ground with lower ticket and shirt prices rather than r####g them further. Every year when the statistics get trotted out on here I am amazed how little clubs like Bayern (in a rich land) and Barcelona actually charge for seats ?

  • 1957

    The 6-6 was a classic, I’ve still got it on a vhs I can’t play anymore.

    This breakaway group is just pushing UEFA to sanction an official league, and given they are as greedy for money as the big clubs it will happen. One thing is certain though, Sky, BT, Amazon or whoever won’t be getting my money to watch it, big Mike will save me from that by aiming for 17th in the PL each year