There was the usual anti-SKY TV rhetoric that has surrounded lower league football this Weekend – including the one in which my team now plays. I recall one along the lines to a chorus of “you can stick your SKY remote up………….”. Naiive to blame for County’s downfall but good humoured fans’ banter amongst this direction of abuse.
The political football is out again with Labour acting out a vision for supporter engagement and ownership. Lip service or manifesto we’ll have to wait and see. When all demise is discussed, ITV Digital is the butt of all ridicule. Without defending them, the demise of that programming forced many a club into unforseen cashflow crises, but the ownership and management of clubs must share some joint-responsibilities. The latter remain challenges in many a football enterprise – and don’t get me going on the Fit and Proper Person Test. There cannot be many a net with more holes in!
Debate on media in Europe has recently been in the limelight and I introduce a debate from our European counterparts so you can all have a view on whether models are more suited elsewhere?
The Guardian has said: “At the height of concern over financial meltdown at Portsmouth, Liverpool and elsewhere in 2010, the coalition talked about empowering fans. Fourteen clubs – including Portsmouth and Swansea – have become wholly or partly fan-owned, but despite the promises Whitehall has done little to encourage the trend. Labour insists this time will be different, vowing to legislate early in a new parliament.”
The overriding messages appear to share the common belief that ‘Football is more than a business, and fans are more than customers’. If progress is to be made on this stance, which can only be correct – surely media must become more under the microscope. I never forget the statement that for many, after religion, football and loyalty to a team’s brand is often the second strongest bond in a person’s life, outside the family. New media models should be investigated.