The game has changed over time, there’s no denying it. Some of these changes have been good – goal line technology, for example; some of them have not been so good – the latest World Cup re-structure (I just didn’t see the point in changing it) for example. However some changes have knocked football, English football in particular a bit behind the rest of the Europe and the World.
So here are four things that I would like to see introduced football.
- Safe Standing – something that wasn’t safe in the 70’s and became evident in the 80’s due to the Hillsbrough disaster, from which the FA did the right thing in making major grounds, all-seaters. However, in modern times Germany have had a safe standing system in grounds that works for years, and I think it massively improves the atmosphere at a game. It’s called safe standing for a reason, it’s ‘safe to stand’, so why haven’t the FA done anything about it? I think it’s about time they started thinking about the fans more and took into consideration what they want.
Dortmund’s 100% safe standing ‘Yellow Wall’ end.
- Limited sponsorship – something that really, really gets on my nerves. I undertand having kit sponsors and official suppliers of major things like alcohol, pies, kit and betting – all of that stuff is there for the fans’ enjoyment. What I don’t get though is the fact that there is nothing blocking teams from getting ‘Official Tractor Suppliers’ and ‘Official Noodle Suppliers’ (ahem, Manchester United). These companies that pay to supply team with rubbish that they evidently only need to buy better players is silly; and worse Man United are probably forking in a few million quid plus what they make from selling the products. Something has to change.
Yanmar’s tractor ad at Old Trafford
- TV officials – I know this was recently trialled during an Interntional friendly, and to some effect – overturning a disallowed goal decision. But I think it needs to come in full-time. The decisions at the friendly took 30 seconds, and the referee trusted what the TV official was saying. If this is brought in I would like to see some control over it, for example, either teams have limited times to use it during a match, and that’s the only time the TV official intervines OR the teams have no say in what the TV official says and can come in wherever he or she pleases. This works wonders in Rugby, so why would it not work in football?
- Ticket price limits – Again, I know that as of the start of this season, Premier League teams can’t charge more than £30 for an away ticket, but something has to be done about home tickets. The campaign ‘TwentiesPlenty’ was supported by most fans, unsuprisingly – and had a go at the FA about charging no more than £20 for a match day ticket. Something I don’t like about the way clubs are run is the the fact that most of the clubs call their fans ‘customers’. But that won’t change the ticket prices, what will change it is fan-power and more noise is made about it the better.
“£64 a ticket. But without fans, football isn’t worth a penny” – Bayern Munich fans, 2016.
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed that mini 4in4 series I did.