Slowly the life is sucked out of football, each and every season. It is obvious to me that if we don’t act, we will lose everything we love about the game.
I do at times wonder whether or not I share this negative, abstract view of the future of football with anybody else, but then I read the multitude of online articles slamming UEFA for their ridiculous decision making and realise that I’m not alone in my views.
The UEFA Europa league
As per the UEFA Europa league regulations the final must be played at a neurtral, ‘predetermined’ venue, meaning the final will be played at any country that is a UEFA member. This season’s final will be played in Baku, Azerbaijan.
This is where the issue begins. The Olympic stadium in Baku has a capacity of 68000, but only 6000 tickets have been made available to each team competing in the final.
UEFA have since stated that this is due the logistical issues of getting a large number of fans into Azerbaijan. In my opinion, UEFA would have known about this from the beginning and yet they haven’t made any attempt to change the venue.
When will UEFA stop being concerned about their sponsors and start being concerned about their fans?
Predetermining the neutral location prior to knowing who will be competing in the final is where this issue has stemmed from and there needs to be a better solution. I don’t have one, but I’m sure someone does.
I have stated this before, but I will say it again, football is nothing without its fans.
The UEFA Champions League
Marketed as the ‘creme dela creme’ of football competitions, it has become a football competition for the apparent ‘elite’ clubs of Europe and with this self proclaimed title, comes a hefty price tag, and it’s always the fans who suffer.
Flights to Madrid, where both English based clubs will compete in this seasons final, have already skyrocketed. Hotel prices have inflated and it seems everyone is attempting to profit from this ‘prestigious event.’
Even UEFA are doing their best to profit from the football fanatics with there exorbitant ticket prices for the occasion ranging from $280 to $950 AUD.
I will be the first to admit that I do love watching an entertaining game of football, especially between some of the most successful clubs in the world, but UEFA are making decisions based on money and not listening to those who really matter, the fans.
Understandably like any business, money is what makes the world go round, especially in our capitalist society. But it’s turning the sport that we love into a corporate nightmare where everybody involved engages in some form of profiteering.
So how do we combat this issue? I have discussed this previously and I still don’t know the answer. The changes need to stem from those who are in charge which I don’t see happening anytime soon.
We could boycott games or stage protests, but I don’t believe it will have much of an effect because while money keeps coming in, why would anything change?