What’s Wrong In Football?

Being the likely date of ‘Cashley’ Cole’s 100th cap for England, I feel today is a fitting day to discuss all the problems with modern football. It’s still the largest sport in the world, but there are so many flaws and in many respects, other sports are leaving it behind as they advance and evolve in the modern world.

At least he's happy with himself.

At least he’s happy with himself.

First up, I’ll get the obvious one out of the way. Goal-line technology. Simple, stick a camera or some sort of sensor on the goalposts and voila, you have a wonderful way to ensure that ‘phantom goals’ aren’t allowed and that legitimate goals are.

Similarly, why not implement camera technology for offsides? I know people claim that it’ll slow down the sport too much, but awaiting results on whether a goal has been scored isn’t exactly the most unexciting wait in the world. Plus, basically all other sports have cameras to aid the officials and it doesn’t make them any more boring. Rugby is far more entertaining as a whole than football despite having the dreaded video referee implemented; so please FIFA, let it into the game.

An issue does arise from these implementations; when could they be used? At the player’s discretion? At the manager’s discretion? At the official’s discretion? For me, the solution has to be the use of teams holding ‘challenges’, just like in tennis. It seems that if each team was allowed two or three challenges a game, the likelihood of unfair results would be far slimmer.

The next issue is wages. With Beckham donating his wages whilst at PSG to a local charity whilst many others receive stick for money hunting, including the topical Ashley Cole, this one is pretty complex. One thing needs to be made clear; everyone agrees that footballers earn far too much money for running around after a ball for ninety minutes.

Beckham: Football's ideal ambassador.

Beckham: Football’s ideal ambassador.

Not everyone seems to understand why though, and that’s the annoying part; it’s all very well going about saying ‘footballers earn way too much, yet nurses earn barely anything’, but it shows a complete lack of understanding of economics. When you think about the fact that the sport conducts such a large audience; sponsorship, advertising and ticket prices suddenly have a reason to be huge. The amount of money injected into football by the public and the media is incredible. And that’s not to mention the rich club owners injecting countless millions in order to see the best players playing at their club. Thus, the clubs become super-rich hubs of monetary power. When considered alongside the huge demand for the best players and the minimal supply of those at the top of the game, it becomes clear that the price for players has no other route than up. Thus, it seems that the wages are near-uncontrollable, as frustrating as that is. All we can hope for is to see more examples, such as that of Becks, where the players use their ridiculous amounts of money for good.

RVP-ManUtd

RVP signed for United in August 2012

There’s another aspect to wages though that is slightly more ugly. The greediness of players. It seems to loyal fans, that people such as Robin Van Persie and William Gallas are basically the anti-christ of football for leaving their beloved teams to a rival, often for money or ‘glory-hunting’ (though the two often go hand-in-hand, if you’re winning tournaments, you’re likely to be getting more money). Yes, the fact that in the past people such as Cole (and I hate to bring him up again but it’s too relevant not to) have stated things along the lines of I ‘almost swerved off the road in shock’ at being offered nearly £60,000 a week is outrageous. It seems incredibly greedy and selfish. But that is a negative example, consider the following. You’re working at a company. Another company comes along and offers a much greater amount than you’re earning at the moment to do basically the same thing, but with extra reward. Saying no just seems foolish. There is very little difference between that example and Van Persie’s exit from Arsenal, yet the man gets incredible amounts of stick for it. People seem to forget that football is these people’s careers.

Moving on now, to a real pet-peeve of mine. Shirt pulling. It happens all the time in every game you see. There’s no risk involved, usually you can get away with a cheeky tug with just a foul, it slows down the opposition’s attack with minimal repercussions. So why not introduce an automatic yellow card for shirt-pulling? Players would suddenly get a lot more wary, then bang and the pulling is gone.

Saurez has hit the news recently by admitting to diving. Honesty coming a bit too late, Luis?

Saurez has hit the news recently by admitting to diving. Honesty coming a bit too late, Luis?

Diving. There needs to be some distinction with this. Yes, diving is bad blahdy-blahdy-blah, anyone can tell you that. But it’s growing for a reason; referees seem unable to spot fouls unless a player hits the deck. Therefore, when a touch is felt, a player ends up throwing himself on the floor, even if it’s just enough to knock him off balance. Surely, if a defender makes an illegal challenge, whether the player ends up on the floor or not is irrelevant? The referees have a hard job to do and the threat of diving makes the issue so much worse. But if you ask me, substandard refereeing has impacted diving itself.

That’s basically it, some of my main issues with football and the views of football different people have. Do you agree? Disagree? Let me know, I’m always up for a debate. Have a good afternoon and enjoy the internationals tonight.

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