Tag Archives: Premier League

Commercialization of English football: The corruption of pre-season friendlies

60 per cent of the English Premier League pre-season friendlies in the 2013/14 season was played overseas | Jon Candy/Flickr

By STEVE MENARY

(playthegame.org) – With Euro 2016 which started on June 10, international football should be centre stage but the increasing commercialisation of pre-season club friendlies is threatening this opportunity.

What was once a loosely organised series of matches used mainly by club managers to test new players and formations ahead of the forthcoming season has changed completely.

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Grassroots football: withering numbers

According to an informative report by ANDY HUNTER in the London Guardian, over 100,000 people have walked away from grassroots football in England since April 2012. The participation rate in English football has declined by almost ten per cent. The withering decline is mainly due to the neo-liberal, anti-social agenda pursued by the Cameron and Blair governments, who have slashed funding and put sport at the mercy of corporate profiteering. “Leisure facilities are cut and cut and cut.” Small youth teams and young people are being priced out of playing organised football. If you haven’t got a pitch, there is no choice. The Premier League, the richest professional sports league in the world, is but a facade that covers up the destruction of people’s sport. Amateur sport is portrayed as a charity (tax-deductible!), rather than a basic right of the people and essential to health. – Tony Seed

• In pictures: grassroots football on Merseyside

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Football, neoliberalism and politics

british football fans

Nathan Bolton (June 12) – I often feel I’m in a very small minority on the left when it comes to football. I support England at international tournaments, I’d sometimes rather go to a game than a meeting and I don’t see the whole sport as a meaningless distraction from making revolution.

Even so, I’ve always felt that politics and football couldn’t mix. Now I’m beginning to think this may not be completely true. Continue reading

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Premier League’s unlevel playing field

Even while top soccer players in Britain, such as Arsenal FC’s Mesut Özil, are regularly paid 180,000 pounds a week, the workers employed at club stadiums struggle to make ends meet, a new report says | Ronnie Macdonald / Wikimedia Commons

By GEORGE LAVENDER*

In These Times (Jan. 21) – SOCCER is big business in Britain, but not everyone who works in the Premier League benefits from that prosperity. According to a recent report by the community organization coalition Citizens UK, even while chief executives make millions, workers who cater, clean and provide security for top soccer clubs are getting paid minimum wage. Right now, the report says, many employees at stadiums around the country are earning £6.31 an hour – well below the estimated national living wage of £7.65. Continue reading

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Football’s inhumane schedule

For the owners of the teams and the league bosses who control the game, it really does not matter if the players play too many games | RICARDO GUERRA*

(August 10) – A lot has been said over the last few years about the gruelling nature of the yearly football schedule around the world. Several competitions have been expanded to include more teams. Consequently, players play an increased number of matches every season. Additionally, some teams are involved in two or even three competitions at the same time. In such circumstances, some players may play two whole matches a week during various parts of the season, leaving them with inadequate recovery time between matches. Continue reading

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Manchester City: a tale of love and money

 Manchester City won the Premier League title at the weekend, thanks to £1bn of Sheikh Mansour’s money. But it wasn’t always like this… | DAVID CONN

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English soccer: Racism in the name of anti-racism

THROUGH campaigns such as Kick it Out and Show Racism the Red Card, FIFA and world football (soccer) have presented themselves as anti-racist while portraying the source of racism as being the people (i.e., fans) and not something condoned by and organized by the highest levels of society. The reaction of two of the richest and most powerful English football clubs to recent allegations of prejudice in their own ranks illustrates the double standards and damning admissions of those professing high ideals. IAN PRIOR of the London Guardian newspaper comments.

Liverpool players show their support for an anti-racism campaign in August, left, and for Luis Suárez. Photograph: Liverpool FC via Getty Images

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