I never, ever thought a time would come where my interest for football would wane to the point of being almost completely apathetic. But the previously unthinkable is now on the verge of becoming a reality. Like most of you, I grew up football mad. My dad was a huge United fan, and my brother played professionally for both Sheffield Wednesday and Sheffield United. I would watch every game I possibly could, and football represented something almost magical in my life. I understand that as a function of age, and increased responsibility, priorities change, and fantasy fades - but something has irrevocably changed for me; and my passion, love and interest for the modern game has all but evaporated. I used to be able to get excited about things like transfer season, but now I find that I just don’t give a shit any more. The only form of football that I find even remotely engaging now is international football; because players are actually playing for pride. For the first time in my life, I am seriously considering not watching any club football at all next season. Below I’ve listed a few of my reasons why. How does The Caf feel about this? Any reasons to add or discredit? Does anyone else feel the same way? Or am I just being a miserable cnut? - Money has completely destroyed the game. Everything is about promotion, sponsorships, and revenue. The integrity and morals of the game are completely subverted by corporate interests. - The fan experience is shite. Most stadiums have terrible atmospheres now, with all the investment and pandering going to VIP and corporate hospitality. - The top level of the game has just become an arms race between the super wealthy, stock piling all the best talent. - Financial doping of state sponsored clubs like City and PSG have made a mockery of generations of historical evolution, and supporter driven development. - Regulation of the sport at almost every level is compromised by both corporate interests, as well as the afore mentioned state backed entities. There are no effective measures against the breaking of FFP rules. - Players are unrelatable and unlikable. Player power is now out of control. Players who have accomplished nothing in the game are rewarded with huge contracts, killing the motivation to kick on to the next level. The vast majority are more concerned with their social media presence, personal branding, and questionable fashion choices. - A game that used to foster artistry is now all about pace, power and stamina. Endless pressing to force mistakes, rather than magicians to pick a lock. - State sponsored or multi billionaire takeovers - sugar daddy clubs - are becoming the only way to compete, and it seems inevitable that more and more will enter the market and change the football landscape for the worse. - The gap between the players and the fans is widening by the year. People can say that football is just a job, but for so many of us, our clubs are something we pour our heart and souls into. Paying increasingly exorbitant prices to go to games, watch matches on TV, or buy official merchandise. Yet most of the players on the field couldn’t give two shits about the clubs they play for, or the fans they represent. - Every year I look at the premier league, and it more and more represents the soulless, soul crushing experiences that are American Sports. Clubs are becoming franchises, rather than community hubs and lifelong relationships with their fans. I just pretty much despise everything about modern football. Right down to the endless analysis of club operations. Watching City build a huge plastic empire. An entire empire built around a brand, rather than a club, and an endless pot of money. Dare I say it, as much as I hate Liverpool, I’d rather a real club won the premier league through their guile, wit and brilliant man management, than another title bought and paid for from the oil fields of Dubai. FIFA and UEFA are run by utter cretins, who are corrupt to the core. No-one cares about the average fan, who are being priced out of the game. And all the while we are treated like idiots, endlessly saturated with wall to wall coverage and drowned in hyperbole over the most mundane of experiences or mediocrity of a player. The entire system panders more and more to the global fan base, primarily made up of half witted fan boys in far flung foreign markets who have no emotional connection to the clubs they “support”, and little to no understanding of the sport they follow. If football is this joyless, soulless and rotten today; how bad is it going to look in 5, 10 or 20 years? Fans will continue to pay more, and get less. And spend more time watching sponsor messages and buying content, than actually watching the games. Occasionally you get a bright spark of hope. A lone wolf that rises from the ashes of a romantic past to defy the odds - See Leicester in 2016, or Ajax this year - only to see them ripped to shreds by bigger fish with deeper pockets in the close season. Is there any hope? Is there anything to look forward to? United might be shite right now, but even if they get good again (which surely they will eventually), is there any way to realistically and sustainably do it without doubling down on a megabucks approach to the game. Be it through bigger tv and sponsorship revenue, or a massive Saudi or Chinese takeover? What is there to look forward to about any of that? Money has always been a huge part of any walk of life, but football also gave us passion - an escape - and love for the game. But is it even possible not to despise almost everything about the modern footballer and all the people involved in the game? Don’t even get me started on the influence of agents and “journalists”. Where are the redeeming qualities. I’m sorry but I just don’t see any. I’ll still play football. I’ll still watch the international matches; even though they are run by cretins. But club football? Nah. It’s dead to me now. I just can’t invest any more energy into something that makes a mockery of the sport I grew up loving.