This weekend the football season kicked off. Are you excited? I should be, my team Manchester City are defending champions. Last weekend I went to the Charity Shield. As the new sason kicks off, I am underwhelmed. I am more excited about the start of my sons youth team season, which starts in September. The reason? I am sick to death of the corporatisation of football. It is all about cash, money and corporate deals. Players "retire" from international football. I'm 51 and I'd run through hot coals being attacked by ninja's for the chance to play for England at Wembley (not that they'd ever have picked me!). How can anyone who is not a completely heartless fool not want the chance to represent their country? By the times modern players are ready to "retire" from England, they are multi millionaires. It is said they want to eke out another couple of seasons for their club. In my opinion no player is truly great unless they've won the World Cup. That is why players like Geoff Hurst and Gordon Banks will always to me be the most special of the English players.
At my club I see the finest squad ever assembled in English football. I'll cheer them through thick and thin, yet in some ways I felt more passionate when Paul Dickov scored in the Div 1 playoff final against Gillingham, than I felt when they won the League last season (yup I confess the Aguerro moment at QPR was a different feeling). How could I become so jaded with the money so soon.
Football has lost its way and is losing its grassroots. I am an addict, so I'm lumbered. I will watch it come what may, but it pains and troubles me. There is a little bit of curmudgeon in me that would like to see all the cash go away and us be transported back to the 1960's when Town teams such as Burnley were contenders, because they had a well run club. The terraces were packed and it cost sweet FA to get in. Those days are gone forever. More is the pity.