The competition has been going on for 127 years, but is our beloved Football League dying?
I found myself surprisingly upset watching Channel Five’s brand spanking new Football League Tonight this weekend. As they flicked through the Championship highlights, I watched aghast as I saw stadium after stadium completely empty.
This is a huge worry. This is the start of the season. This is when attendances are usually at their highest, because nothing has really happened yet. No one knows whether their club is going to perform badly, no ones struggling, so fans usually pass through the turnstiles full of optimism.
But this hasn’t been the case. Why? Why are stadiums beginning to drain?
The worry for me is that kids today are being allowed to support the big Premier League clubs; the Manchester United’s, the Arsenal’s, the Chelsea’s. I have no problem with this if you live in Manchester, North London, or South London. But where I do have a huge problem is when you live in Reading but support Liverpool (or something similar).
What worries me more is that we’re breeding a crop of football fans that aren’t actually fans of the sport, but fans of winning.
But this is a completely different discussion, my point being that fans choosing to support big clubs who a) they’ll probably watch once a year and b) they only support because they win. This means that local clubs are dying, and are slowly seeing their attendances plummet.
Another issue is ticket prices. Tickets alone are awfully expensive these days, let alone season tickets. I’d implore all clubs to follow the Bradford example, who lowered their season ticket prices to an astonishing £149, which saw their season ticket sales sore.
This means bigger crowds, meaning better atmospheres but also more people’s imaginations being captured by the club they’re watching, meaning more fans for the future and in the present, which is vital to keep clubs and the Football League still heavily watched.
Is that the answer then? Is that why the Football League is beginning to die in popularity, because of ticket prices? With the vast, vast amount of money in football these days, clubs can surely lower ticket prices to keep our beloved competition alive.
Football League fans… What do you make of this? Is the Football League beginning to die? What’s more to blame, big Premier League clubs or ticket pries? Let us know in the comments below!