I love to hear experts who don’t pay regularly for the cheap seats at football stadiums tell those who do how they should change their club.
You see them on TV, hear them on radio, read them in the papers, offering the same advice to diehards that ex-FA chairman Greg Dyke did on Sky after the Old Trafford pitch invasion: “The most effective means to take on the Glazers is don’t buy the season tickets.
“If 40,000 fans said we’re not going to buy season tickets this year then I think the owners would take notice very quickly.”
Sure they’d take notice. Of the tens of thousands desperate for those discarded season tickets, whether they live in Didsbury, Dagenham or Darjeeling, who would snap them up even if they could only use them twice a year.
It would be seen by the Florida Munsters as a result, as their new customers would be far easier to exploit.
Goodbye legacy fans with all your heritage baggage. Hello the unquestioning merchandise-loving cash machines.
It also assumes there are 40,000 season ticket holders who agree with that relatively small group who took direct action on Sunday.
Many would want nothing to do with the rebels and be happy to carry on under the Glazers so long as United were linked with buying Harry Kane in the next transfer window.
Others who sympathised with the protest couldn’t bring themselves to give up that precious ticket, or that day out with their mates, as it’s the highlight of their lives.
You see, a club’s football fans, just like Strictly Come Dancing fans, do not think as one. Sadly, some are happy to be ripped off and see protestors as virtual communists trying to reverse the inevitable flow of capitalism.
A bit like the Premier League bosses who now lecture the breakaway hedge-fund vultures but who welcomed them into England’s biggest clubs, seeing them as financial big hitters who could help spread their world-leading brand.
The other piece of advice you hear from people who don’t pay to watch football is that fans should chip in to buy their clubs. Do they seriously think this hasn’t been floated by fan groups, who have looked at the millions, now billions, needed and realised it’s a complete non-starter.
Fans don’t need lectures about how to save their clubs from sharks, they need legislation. Protesters would not break the law, as some did on Sunday, if laws existed to stop the theft of their football teams by the likes of the Glazers.
Fears that such proposals could come from the government’s fan-led review into the game’s governance is already sending jitters down spines.
Mehmet Dalman, Cardiff City’s investment banker chairman has denounced any move to give fans a veto of board decisions as “simply not workable.” Many other voices, plenty with the ear of Tory politicians, will be heavily lobbying their friends in high places.
Chelsea have read the runes and agreed to let fan representatives watch some of the decision-making but take no part in any vote.
Liverpool have met the Spirit of Shankly group and agreed to consider their demands for a “golden share” in the voting process.
It’s a start, but the fan groups involved will remain suspicious that this is merely corporate manoeuvring to soften the Super League backlash.
They need outside help, specifically politicians and ruling bodies moulding laws that ensure supporters have a presence on the board that carries weight when it comes to voting on major policy decisions.
Realists accept there will be no German model of 51% fan ownership imposed here because English football has been run too differently for too long.
But if the will exists, a climate can be created that puts off the worst hedge-fund cowboys like the Glazers from viewing our biggest clubs as money-printing presses and sucking the life out of them.
That’s what is needed.
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