Could synchronicity be playing a trick on me?

England crash-out of the World Cup after numerous apathetic displays, whilst during the close season, clubs appear to be acquiring competitive talent on seemingly fewer resources than Barnsley FC.

Does the FA & the Football League act like the proverbial ostrich. Are things really getting worse? Is it my singular opinion that football is now so far removed now from the sport and institution it used to be?

Despite the continuing work from Mr Cryne et al (and much credit is deserved) in running a secure and profitable football business, the playing field continues to look more uneven.

Doesn't the whole English game need revising?

Here's my argument. Particularly now, how can any player or club justify a playing contract worth an estimated £200k per week or even half that figure?

The response is always similar and is justified in terms of its commercial rationality. It is often along the lines that the total revenue returned and the "good" it generates throughout the game will be greater than the sum being invested.

Now I'm crap at finance, but if I ran my household budget this way, pretty soon I would be sleeping in a tent on a ration of a bean a day - if I was lucky (cue Monty Python). However, the facts are simple, we all suffer in some way from the lack a proper financial control in football and the resulting effects.

If you follow your team home and away, you may find yourself at the mercy of an egotistical chairman. Your (and our) club may be safe at the moment, but who knows when the next capitalist is about to strike?

Okay, so you don't watch the matches regularly, but probably get drawn to the purchase of the odd item of merchandise. You only have to look at the end-of-season sales to understand that no item could ever be sold at a loss and do the math.

Maybe you've gloated at the ill-fated club whose circumstances force their inevitable slip in to administration. Perhaps though, you have never considered the suppliers whose business have folded or been seriously compromised by the debts the club had accrued and failed to pay.

Club owners, the FA and the players wipe the slate clean and begin again.

At its pinnacle, "England FC" are unable to field a comprehensive squad capable of assuring us that personal player wealth = superior professional skills. You feel herded in to feeling that our "rich league" should illustrate, but fails to show, the deficiencies that ought to plague "lesser" all-comers.

Even in abject failure, the sponsorship will continue to flow and contracts will remain protected, whilst agents scream for more .. more .. more, and get it. After all, its down to market forces isn't it?

At the same time, we hear ....

Regional Development will be axed
Government plans to axe school rebuilding
Cuts to social services will effect the most vulnerable
Austerity measures are inevitable and unavoidable for our long term benefit ...

An email arrives in my inbox. Take a look at Oi! FA.

This group is concerned with the lack of control on ownership of our football clubs and the pitfalls this creates. If you feel strongly about their cause, sign their petition in support.

Interestingly, there is a host of other statistics and figures concerning the financial performance at the top to the bottom tier of English Football and its a fascinating read.

This must be just the tip of the iceberg though. When the supporting public are still making the biggest investment in football (directly or indirectly), it is they who bear the consequences of failure in all branches and levels of the sport. Surely they deserve to be heard.

Do you feel like me? Did the World Cup debacle feel like the whole commercial machine mugged you? Do you expect former ethics to be restored or did they never exist in the first place?

Surely a reality check is both timely and seriously overdue. The public deserve their faith to be restored in the people's game!

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Ian Wilkinson

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