By Tony Attwood
They’ve ridden in on the back of our love of the game and our love of our club.
Now they are taking control, demanding the games be played. They don’t mind empty stadia. They just want games, and they want them now.
So having taken control, they are pushing us, the fans, to one side. And it is not just us, even some powerful owners are finding themselves being pushed around. The leagues are becoming irrelevant. Even the wishes of many of the clubs are becoming irrelevant. They have control.
The agents now have control of the players and can tell them what to do; when to ask for a transfer, when to demand better conditions and more money, where to play, who to play for. As we have seen they even have direct links to sources of money so that the club can borrow the money
As for the media, they select what is news, what needs to be, what is right what is wrong, what bits of reality are best avoided.
So yes, let’s accept playing behind closed doors. Let’s play out the rest of the season without debating whether it is right or not to do it. Let’s not debate whether we should be playing football at all now, just as we never ever debate why Liverpool get the same referee over and over again, why there are so few referees in the League, why referees are so easily manipulated by the crowd… These things are best left – or at least that is what the media think.
Thus they decide that the fact that a bank has been caught out helping people within Fifa to move money around illegally is not a story. Or that the Swiss authorities are getting very upset by the way their chief prosecutor has been having secret meetings with Fifa. And the German media is starting to wonder about a whole series of cases that have been quietly put to one side for a very long time. Or the fact that at least one Premier League club supposedly with a very rich backer, has already borrowed and spent next season’s first round of TV payments.
Of course it is very hard for fans to fight back – in the end, for most fans all that matters is their club winning a trophy, or staying in the Premier League for another season. And if it is done with some underhand help from referees, or some backstreet manipulation by an agent, or by TV companies who now openly decide when games are played, who cares? If a new wonder player turns up at the club, after some strange deals arranged by dubious characters in the background, that’s to really an issue.
And if the club wins something in a dubious manner, well, surely an excuse can be found somewhere. Besides others are only complaining because they are jealous.
Clubs have become particularly wary of the media of late, and many players are resisting the temptation to speak to the press, even when given offers of a “regular column” once they retire. So there is a slight awareness that something is not right here.
But as yet the clubs are not fighting back against the corrupt duopoly of agents and media.
Indeed there is only one way for the clubs to fight back, and that is to start working together, setting aside their competitiveness in the face of this powerful duopoly of agents and media.
I think that slowly, very slowly, there is a growing realisation that the power of the media and agents has become unhealthy and it should be the clubs, who the fans care about that should be in control. But the media will not relent because they have seen just how easy it is for them to manipulate football.
All we can do is try and reveal what is going on – and that we are going to try and do in the near future.
- The home and away scandal: ignorance, or cover up?
- The reason why Liverpool and Man C are ahead of Arsenal.
- How which referee a club gets has a major impact on the result of each game
- The statistical evidence that shows PGMO are biased against Arsenal
- How European football has taken up the fight against clubs breaking FFP