24 September 2005

Alive and kicking

Of all the crisis talk about 'boring, boring football', it has to be remembered that we are still in September and only seven matches in to the Premiership season. The game is still beautiful.

If you're not going to take it from me, then take it from Henry Winter:

"Never have so many people shown so much interest in whether people are losing interest in football. Tune into a phone-in and the lines hum with callers fulminating about cautious tactics and crazy ticket prices. Pick up a paper and for every obituary of the national game there are 10 bulletins analysing what is going on in Roy Keane's foot, in Thierry Henry's heart and in Wayne Rooney's head.

Public fascination endures. Virtual spectators exist in abundance, sating their craving through television, phone-ins, daily prints and the web. Football must now improve the lot of the actual match-going fan, the one faced with the assault course of supporting a team, with its high financial as well as emotional cost.

Concerns? Yes. Crisis? No. Alarm bells should ring only if the phone-ins fall silent, column inches are switched to other sports and TV lavishes its billions elsewhere. The real disaster would be a return to the dark days of Hillsborough, Heysel and Bradford. Hooliganism? Viewed only away from grounds and on celluloid nowadays.

The English patient is sick, but not terminally ill."

I couldn't agree more.

(Taken from Henry Winter's article Crisis? What Crisis? in the Electronic Telegraph, Saturday 24th September 2005)


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