Thinking the unthinkable - not interested in football any more...

Discussion in 'Football Forum' started by simonhch, May 28, 2019.

  1. May 28, 2019
    #1

    simonhch Horrible boss

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    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.
  2. May 28, 2019
    #2

    2 man midfield Incestuous Modern Woman (Dumper!)

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    Does this have anything to do with us being shit now?
  3. May 28, 2019
    #3

    simonhch Horrible boss

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    The answer is in the OP. Is it too much to expect you to read it?
  4. May 28, 2019
    #4

    Catt Ole's at the wheel!

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    Wait till United become decent again and you'll get drawn back in.
  5. May 28, 2019
    #5

    2 man midfield Incestuous Modern Woman (Dumper!)

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    I did, and you didn’t mention the fact we’re not top dog anymore, hence my question.
  6. May 28, 2019
    #6

    AgentP Full Member

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    May I know how old you are? I used to be a very passionate fan in my teens and early 20s. Now that I'm close to 30, I still watch many games but not with the same passion or excitement as before. I don't know whether this is due to United turning into shit or just a phase in my life. I'm actually more involved in football now than before as we play a draft and I have more exposure to football but the pure joy that I got from our games is gone.
  7. May 28, 2019
    #7

    simonhch Horrible boss

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    Yes I did.
  8. May 28, 2019
    #8

    simonhch Horrible boss

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    I’m 39.
  9. May 28, 2019
    #9

    Cal? CR7 fan

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    Pure nostalgia to think football wasn’t all about money even 2-3 decades ago.

    As a sports, football is thriving more than ever.
  10. May 28, 2019
    #10

    2 man midfield Incestuous Modern Woman (Dumper!)

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    Nice edit
  11. May 28, 2019
    #11

    Keeps It tidy Hates Messi

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    A lot of valid reasons listed here and this does not seem like pure nostalgia like some of these type of threads. The one quibble I have is the idea that big contracts killing player's motivation but, the clubs that give out the biggest contracts tend to win everything.
  12. May 28, 2019
    #12

    simonhch Horrible boss

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    See, this is mate, obviously I don’t like United being crap; but I can live with it. Football is cyclical. I’m just about old enough to have an emotional connection to the wildnerness years before we broke the long title drought. But I just hate everything that our club has become. The ownership, the management model. It’s all about the bottom line. We all know the club doesn’t give a feck about competing. They just want to keep the money flowing in. And it’s not just united that are like that, it’s most of the premier league. Is utterly joyless.
  13. May 28, 2019
    #13

    simonhch Horrible boss

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    Didnt edit.
  14. May 28, 2019
    #14

    simonhch Horrible boss

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    Financially it is. But the game is rotten.
  15. May 28, 2019
    #15

    Cal? CR7 fan

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    I don’t agree, if you think it’s rotten now, wait for the European Super League
  16. May 28, 2019
    #16

    simonhch Horrible boss

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    That’s kind of my point. As I said if it’s rotten now, just wait for 5, 10 years down the line. The soul has gone.
  17. May 28, 2019
    #17

    Infordin Full Member

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    The one valid argument OP has is that the rich teams are now stockpiling talent like never before. Teams like Man City pay 50m for squad players. Any talented player who has one really good season under his belt is immediately picked up by one of the big clubs.

    I miss the days when talent in football was more spread out, when it was normal for a world class player like Batistuta to spend his prime at a club like Fiorentina.
  18. May 28, 2019
    #18

    Wumminator The Special One!

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    I think the biggest thing is we have mostly got rid of the upsets and excitement. It’s shit when a league is uncompetitive.

    Tell you what does my head in more than anything else. Two local lads (Jesse and Marcus) went to help out a charity event the other day and they got absolutely slated. Our own fans calling them idiots, wishing they could punch them. All because they aren’t as good as some of our past players.

    The support has completely changed. Look at transfer season. It’s a fecking disgrace.

    At the end of the day though if I go Old Trafford and have a few in the pubs before the game, I absolutely love it. When I’m down at the Railway or watching at Dive Bar I like the atmosphere.

    Football massively improves when you ignore all this shite before/after and just watch a game.
  19. May 28, 2019
    #19

    VorZakone What would Kenny G do?

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    I don't really tend to have a problem with all the money involved yet. My concern is about the lack of top tier players behind Ronaldo/Messi. There's a few players that make me sit at the edge of the seat, but I feel like the 2000s had dozens of those.
  20. May 28, 2019
    #20

    Keeps It tidy Hates Messi

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    Everytime someone says that and starts a thread saying that it is pointed out that not every name they named was in their prime at the time. Someone started a thread a while ago where it made it seem like Keane and Modric were playing in the PL at the same time.
  21. May 28, 2019
    #21

    Classical Mechanic Full Member

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    Good post Simon.

    That said, as a pure sporting spectacle, this season has had some of the best games ever in the Champions League.
  22. May 28, 2019
    #22

    Keeps It tidy Hates Messi

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    I personally think the pressing revolution and then the counterpressing counter revolution has added a lot of entertainment value to Football.
  23. May 28, 2019
    #23

    Wumminator The Special One!

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    :lol:

    You and me couldn’t be further opposed when it comes to what we derive entertainment from.

    Not a dig at all btw, but I couldn’t care less about tactical styles at all.
  24. May 28, 2019
    #24

    jackwanson New Member

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    Long post. Good read. I'm going to voice my own thoughts. I will disagree with you 100%. I started watching football in 2002 and really got into it in 2006, so maybe I never knew 'any better'. But the pure passion,skills,and drama is what attracted me to the game compare to American sports.

    Passion
    I don't care if the typical modern footballer is spoiled. The sheer joy and range of emotions I see in them is incredible to behold. You are seeing grown men who makes millions show the most raw of emotions. Look at Toni's celebration after Italy's goal against Germany. Look at Aguero. Look at Barca during that incredible last second goal against Chelsea. Look at the French players crashing that press conference chanting their manager's name. Look at the Liverpool players singing in front of a roaring Anfield. There's hundreds of examples of this in the modern game. I don't care if the footballers are faking it for social media or honestly meant it. It looks like they care and not afraid to show it.

    Skills
    Messi/Ronaldo is doing things people deemed impossible. Brazilians in the modern game have given us magic act after magic act. Ronaldo/Rivaldo/Ronaldinho/Kaka/ and yes at times even Neymar. Spain and Barcalona have shown us some of the greatest footballing ever played during their peaks. Look at the list of great footballers from the last 15-20 years. Amazing.

    Drama
    Look at the large amounts of top level matches being played throughout the last 10-15 years with twists and turns. Hollywood style endings and magical moments. Too many too list really but off the top of my head..... I don't even watch every match that I can and I still remember so many great drama throughout the years. Some of my favorites being

    United-Chelsea CL Final
    Russia's EURO run in 08
    Brazil World Cup 14
    City -QPR
    PSG-BARCA
    Munich-Porto
    CITY-UNITED 09
    Tottenham-Arsenal 4-4
    Madrid-Madrid CL Final
    this year's PL Title race.

    I mean there's literally another 50-100 that you can list in the last 10 years alone.


    Check out this upcoming COPA. Probably a lot more great matches. I'm happy watching this sport.
  25. May 28, 2019
    #25

    SER19 Full Member

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    I agree with most of it. Think fans or at least the medium we communicate now has a lot to do with it too. Like any form of social media reading endless unnuanced moaning and in fighting attaches another layer of negativity.

    I think the game has been pushing towards money more and more for a long time and it won't be popular to say but City (and psg) have changed it more than any teams ever. When our current day version of a 'purist' is a guy who talks about traditions and youth and Barcelona like some mythical club, then runs to man bloody city you know we're in a low point in a moral/romantic/traditional sense.

    And its this effort to retain at least some semblance of history than many fans are hammering us for and could leave us behind. It's go full on like city or die in terms of competition. To one extent or another moyes, giggs as assistant, Carrick, solskjaer etc and even Ferguson, phelan and more have been vilified by fans. The youth we promote is 'shit' and so on. These arguments may occasionally be true, but it's further proof that a new model or 'project' has been set up by plastic franchise clubs that takes us farther and farther from the game we knew.
  26. May 28, 2019
    #26

    McGrathsipan Full Member

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    Completely agree with you and feel pretty much the same.
    I don't have the same love for it. Social media has a big part to play in it too. It takes the focus off the game and the players are too interested in image. Keane called it years ago.

    Now Newcastle look like they are becoming the latest billionaire play thing you'd wonder who is next.

    Football is only the sideline thing these days at United. Just log on to the club website and it has more things for sale than EBay and going to a match has many more creative ways of parting you from your money. Corporate tickets make more money and that has killed the atmosphere. It's going the same way in Rugby. I was at Ireland v England in the Aviva and there was zero atmosphere. Corporate.

    Then you have Sky and co analysing everything to death. Jim White who is a news reader has some sort of fame and a massive ego because of transfer deadline day. WTF is that about?

    At least under Ferguson there was a link to the roots of United and what it means to play for United. The modern players don't care. It's money and ego. It's obvious.
  27. May 28, 2019
    #27

    simonhch Horrible boss

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    Amen.
  28. May 28, 2019
    #28

    kouroux 45k posts to finally achieve this tagline

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    I feel a lot of what you feel but I still think I'm there yet in the "soon to not watch football anymore" camp. Personally the passing of my father in 2015 has changed a lot of my perception of football, like I used to get seriously pissed off after a defeat or a draw I felt we should have won, I was getting so worked up if people (families or friends even) were "bothering" during games.
    I'm just not like that anymore, United can win or lose, when the next days comes, I don't really care anymore. My mind is just focused on something else, my life and my job.
    I find much more pleasure in football I play at my amateur level than any football on display on TV, United bores me to death so anytime there is a conflict in terms of schedule, I don't even think about it, I prefer to play.
    It never was like that when I was more hardcore
  29. May 28, 2019
    #29

    simonhch Horrible boss

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    Yep. You’ve pushed upon stuff that I didn’t even get into. And we could rally go on all night. Just everything in the game and surrounding the game is a huge, empty circus now. One big cash grab of endless hyperbole and marketing.
  30. May 28, 2019
    #30

    SER19 Full Member

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    For what's it worth, my advice, which I could do better to follow, is to reorganise your relationship with the sport. I'd get someway involved, even peripherally with a local amateur side, spend more time watching lower level/overseas/amateur stuff to reconnect with the basic joys and despairs of winning and losing. Put the Premier league on this same spectrum, just at the very opposite end and spend less time invested in its media, off pitch circus and try go back to basics of just watching a match of the team you support for 90 minures a week. Nothing more, no post mortem, just take your feelings from the game and pack them away until next week. Keep playing. And you might find a whole new balance that you enjoy
  31. May 28, 2019
    #31

    Werder Herzog Full Member

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    I feel the same, look i will always follow Utd it's an addiction i can't kick- but even when we were crap and had the likes of Clayton Blackmore playing for us , at least he gave one- there is only McTominay and Herrera (who has now left) who seem to care in our squad , i find it hard to care about a bunch of dossers who as a bare minimum dont even put a shift in.
  32. May 28, 2019
    #32

    simonhch Horrible boss

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    Yes, I am exactly the same way. My dad passed the year after the treble, and sometimes I am glad he never got to see what football has become. I became a father four years ago, and my wife has to years of serious health problems afterwards. At the same time my career took off and free time came at a premium. It used to be the case that United were number one if they had a game come up, but they are far down my list of priorities these days. I’d rather play myself, box, hit the gym, spend time with my daughter, take my wife out, or get a rare and much needed lie in these days. I missed so many United games this season because I’m just not willing to gonthe extra mile these days. And it’s not just United games I missed. I barely watched any neutral football, including big matches, unless I happened to be free, or had it on in the background.

    As you say, priorities change. I used to get super worked up, like you, after poor results. But I just shrug it off now. I get much more pissed off when I lose an amateur game; and conversely much more joy out of a personal win (in a meaningless match (than watching United win).
  33. May 28, 2019
    #33

    simonhch Horrible boss

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    So I actually run a sports and entertainment company, a part of which is a facility that houses one of the busiest indoor football league programs in the country. So on an amateur level I get tons of exposure. I even play in a low level veterans league. It’s where I get all my enjoyment out of the game. So your advice is entirely correct. It’s that balance that is finally enabling me to let go out my dedication to the professional game. Because it’s lost what I love about it; but I’m lucky enough to be able to find that almost every day at work.
  34. May 28, 2019
    #34

    kouroux 45k posts to finally achieve this tagline

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    That's just so me :lol:
    I see it positively, priorities can change in life, at the end of the day what matters is that we find what can make us the happiest we can be. Amateur football and gym give me much more pleasure

    I couldn't agree more with this part. When I think about it, the entire circus pre and post games used to annoy me so much, I would just get angry for no real reason at the medias. Now I'm doing what you described, I keep it at a minimal.
  35. May 28, 2019
    #35

    nokillingmoths Full Member

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    While i still love united as much as i ever have, i no longer attend matches. I meant to cancel my membership as well. The matchday experience is awful these days. It used to be a four hour trip to ot for me, but now its closer to 8 (live in thr same place) and the day one bum rush means we never get good tickets. Last time i was sat near a school fecking trip.

    Its sad as i used to love going to matches, but getting rid of the ballot system was a complete mistake.
  36. May 28, 2019
    #36

    2 man midfield Incestuous Modern Woman (Dumper!)

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    I agree with a lot of what you’ve said, but the challenge of getting back up there again is all part of it for me. Although to be fair, I started supporting the club in 2002, so I’ve never really known anything other than the modern, corporate game you’re describing.

    You added about 3 new paragraphs :lol:
  37. May 28, 2019
    #37

    simonhch Horrible boss

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    Yep. I’ll probably touch base with the scores, but that’s about it. When players don’t care about the club, how can I as a fan care either? As a previous poster touched upon, the new generation of fans suck too. It’s all now, now, now. “Announce Griezmann!”. And the lambasting of local young players who are starting out their careers. Fans he’s days ar all armchair experts who know nothing about the game. Opinions formed off YouTube; and with the attention spans of a mosquito.
  38. May 28, 2019
    #38

    Spielmacher Full Member

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    You sound like my therapist, when he advised me to help out at a homeless shelter to become less of an asshole.
    Might work, but is also time consuming.
  39. May 28, 2019
    #39

    Shakesey Full Member

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    Your answer is right there. Everything that follows is just you trying to find external reasons (of which most are valid). The fact that everything else follows a "but" means you reckon those carry more weight.
    They don't.
  40. May 28, 2019
    #40

    kouroux 45k posts to finally achieve this tagline

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    What changed ?