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Published on November 30th, 2018 | by Bill

I Don’t Recognise This Game

I don’t recognise this game. Alienation, society and the modern football condition.

Tom Reed, writing for STAND.

Staring up at a Sky TV screen at the full-time scores, the fat November rain thudding off the windows. It wasn’t at home as the subscription had been cancelled long ago but on the stadium concourse of my local club, the match newly over.

Then came the hazed realisation through cold bones that I just don’t recognise the game anymore. It’s there in front of me but I can’t feel it.

The familiar tone of James Alexander Gordon in post-match drives home replaced by the visual assault of Sky Sports news. Man City six, Southampton one, teams owned by nation states, the “Big 6” and players who have gone from JD Wetherspoons and JD Sports to Jaguars and private jets.

It cost me £24 to get in to a League 2 match.

Despite the interconnectivity of the modern media onslaught, the connection between the divisions is breaking up. Where you could plot a rough route through the league, you now get the Championship and the big money gamblers who can spank twenty odd mil and not touch the sides. All built on a massive debt mountain of course but let’s just focus on the “madness” of the points spread. The chairman there are threatening a breakaway league as what’s good enough for the top-tier goose is good enough for the gander.

The Prem is just a myth, science fiction, an altered reality from a David Lynch film. How do you comprehend reading news stories about poverty stricken families spending Christmas in their cars and then ex-Nottingham Forest striker Marlon Harewood’s metallic black wrap of Kyle Walker’s £166,000 Bentley Bentayga?

The Champions League is one step beyond, a near death vision of bright lights and incomprehensible images. It produces a feeling, ultimately of absolutely nothing, flat-lining football flickering in front of the retinas.

The Copa fucking Libertadores, once a competition for fairly good South American teams, now pored over by every global news outlet, spreading their commercial devilment and hiding in bins to watch a poverty stricken fan light a flare, god forbid. The more media coverage the tournament gets the more the fan culture is stripped away.

Only a week after Scudamore’s dumb-ass £5 million tip the Premier League have the cheek to tweet a campaign that “This is everyone’s game”. Yes, everyone’s but the poor who sustained it before you got your hands on it.

Football is less a mirror of society and more a cancerous off-shoot blood vessel. People walk past the homeless in the street and turn a blind eye to those working poor buggers who stop going to clubs they love because they want to give their families something to eat.

Remember when you used to play football as a kid and when one side began to dominate too much, you’d swap a few players over to even things out. A fair fight was everything.

This’ll come across as “yer da” but my dad stopped going for the reasons above, my kids won’t be able to afford it.

The game is now so far removed from its sporting presence to be unrecognisable. The more I see, the less I feel.

I’m alone and yet, I’m not alone.

 

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