Football Aversion

I was a football-maniac who scheduled every weekend to spent watching English Premier League and Serie-A matches. I am a fan of Liverpool and AC Milan. I spent about 4-6 hours every weekend to watch Liverpool’s match, AC Milan’s match and another interesting matches. I was excited to watch football and be a part of the team: supporting the team, singing the club’s anthem, and wearing the club’s jersey. Emotionally, I was engaged into the match. It was fun for me especially if my favourite teams won.  Besides, I love playing football. The real one, being the player in the game, stepping on the (artificial) grass and kicking the ball, falling and getting injury, and so forth. It’s about sport and pride.

But, I don’t know exactly why, when, and how; suddenly I just dislike watching football. Sometime I think watching football is little bit of wasting time. Just imagine, you spend about 2 hours ( 2 x @ 45 minutes + 15 minutes break + Trying to connect if you use broadband) to watch 22 people (or more) running in the field, chasing one ball,  tackling each other, and trying to make goal(s). It will be different case if you were in the field standing as player. If you were player, you would be the part of game which aimed to make your muscle keep working in order to make you healthy. I still love doing football as sport, but I will stop watching football unless it’s a special event like World Cup. World Cup is not about football, it’s about nationality.

For me, watching football is a bit monotonous. I watch my teams this week. I watch them again next week, and next two weeks, and even next 5 weeks. What happens? Still, they’ll show a typical game: Running, kicking, tackling, passing and trying to make goal. It’s totally different if I watch movies which posses strong story-line, State-of-the-art CGI, or valuable social value. Every motion picture has its own strengths and unique selling point to watch. What I got from watching Star Wars is totally distinct to Forrest Gump’s.  Even, playing video games is worth to do instead of watching football. Playing video games stimulates your ability and skill to analysis the threats, to develop strategies to win the games, and to solve problems which all of them are manageable. In video games, you are the controller. You decide and execute your own plan via the character(s) in video games. If you choose wrong decision, you’ll lose. In watching football, nothing you can do except finger-crossing. You’re only the spectator, nothing you can do to change the game. The positive side of watching football is to train you to accept the result whatever it is. It (possibly) can make you stronger to admit your bitter loss.

But, I think above is not my main reason why I leave my habit of watching football. Two things that make me allergic of football are bubble pricing of football and the rotten FIFA. Price of players’ transfer,  salary of players, and tickets price do not make sense any more. Liverpool bought Newcastle’s star, Andy Carroll for  £35,000,000. Chelsea bought Liverpool’s star Fernando Torres for extraordinary £50,000,000.  It’s a huge amount of money. In some developing countries, you can use such amount for helping the economy by establish Foreign Direct Investment or PPP.  Manchester City’s star, Carlov Tevez gets salary £250,000 per week. But, look what Tevez did last 2 weeks. Although having wow salary, he rejected to play as substitute for City in the match against Bayern Munich. Just unbelievable! The Club bought him for (estimated) £45,000,000 and pay him happy £250,000 every week, but then the player just dumped the club. The club has paid too much money, or we can describe it as overvalue price and salary for a football player.  The Clubs pay a lot, but then the players don’t show their best. Nothing club can do. Such a waste of money. Besides, if a club has provided huge salary for its players, it will become a reference for another clubs’ players to ask the similar things. It’s like a contagion. Club A pay salary of Mr X for £150,000 per week.  Club B’s star, Mr Y, requests the same thing to the club for setting an equal earning compared to Club A’s star. If club B doesn’t want to realize Mr Y’s demand, he will move to Club A because it is owned by super millionaire. Then Club B pay him for £200,000 per week. Mr Z, the star of Club C, envies to that situation. He thinks Mr X and Mr Y’s range salary is a new standard for the football star.  It’s like a circle and then transform with snow-balling effect.

I do believe football only can survive as long as its combined with entertainment approach. But, it is not necessary to overrate the value of the players. UEFA, through Financial Fair Play Policy, force European teams especially the rich teams, to spend their money wisely. They must expend their money below their earnings which come from Royalty, Sponsorship, TV / Broadcasting right, Merchandising and Champion’s prize. If their expense exceed their revenue , UEFA will give punishments.  It’s absolutely a good idea to start reducing or stop the bubble of football. UEFA doesn’t want football life falling into pieces just like what US felt after the financial crisis which were started by sub-prime mortgage and the super financial engineering transforming it into sophisticated derivatives that lead to the bubble economy. Unfortunately, some football teams which are owned by millionaire use sly strategy to cover their capital pretending as sponsorship or loyalty form. They execute every little chances to fool UEFA with cunning approaches. The owner forget one fundamental thing about football which is fair play.

Just for comparison. Salary of football star (of the most famous club in English Premier League) for ONE MONTH is equal to salary of CEO (of one of leading company in UK) for ONE YEAR. The bigger players’ salary, the greater effort required to keep club’s balance sheet positive. It means the ticket price, jersey, merchandise, and TV channel subscription are going to increase compensating the players’ demand.  Some of Blackburn fans almost did strike and refused to watch and support the club because of the increased ticket price. This bubble will burst suddenly. And if it happens, it will be a disaster for football. Football stars reject to play, the people also prefer doing other things instead of watching football, the owners lose a lot of money, so on, and so on.

One thing I also don’t like about the money in football is its power influencing manager’s decision of the winning eleven. Many incidents have been showing intervention of the club owner in manager’s decision. The owner doesn’t want looked silly because he already bought useless expensive player(s).  Mr Roman did it in case of Shevchenko. In the Liverpool, King Kenny has to put JH as right midfielder although all The Reds lovers know he’s good as central midfielder. Why King Kenny has to choose JH instead of Dirk Kuyt. In my opinion, simple, because of the owner’s pressure who already bought JH for expensive price and hoped for rapid return on player investment. If the new player doesn’t play often, hence the sales of his jersey will go down, the Break-even Point will be very long, and the owner will be the target of fans’ anger for buying wrong player(s).  Manager decides the line up due to player’s performance as well as pressure from the owner. When this thing happens, football ain’t pure sport any more. It’s like a greedy business.

The last thing disturb me in enjoying football is FIFA. It is a big and well-organized institution, but rotten and dirty. Too many corruptions issues there. FIFA has been ruining football as sport for last decade. I hate when FIFA doesn’t want to use technology to help referee’s decisions. The officials of FIFA said they don’t want to interrupt football as humane sport. They prefer using million of referee in the stadium rather than applying one new technology. Referees’ mistakes are acceptable in football because they are human and no one’s perfect. So is the football, as they said. Too many teams that had been harmed by wrong referee’s decision. I am curious did the referee really make a natural mistake or because some parties have paid the referee. The one acceptable reason why FIFA rejected the technology is because they don’t want their Mafia-network is uncovered. I do believe on that. Tennis, Basketball, F1, Cricket, and other famous sports already use technology to perfect the game. I believe technology could help football teams and players to play more honest and more fair-play. No single team will be disadvantaged by good technology. This idiocy makes me feel displeasure of football under umbrella of FIFA.

All above are my thought and opinion. It’s about what I feel. I still pay respect to all football watchers all around the world. Being football fan is absolutely fun, exciting, and challenging. It indoctrinates loyalty and supportive act. I am still a fan of AC Milan and Liverpool and always be. But now, I prefer to do another things such as reading books, writing article instead of watching football for 2 hours. Watching football indeed relieves stress and tension, and I choose another way to reduce my stress. Hail Football!

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