Care About The Future Of Football? Have Your Say – Part 2

In the second of two articles, we highlight five more ideas being floated now to make football better. Some look good, a few feel dodgy, and some feel bad already.  Let us know what you think.


Game 39

As the global fanbase watching English football has grown exponentially, screens have become key to growing the audience.  A recent survey found that only 40% of all fans watch games in a stadium.  51% say they play FIFA at least once a month.  For tens of millions of fans in countries like India, Brazil, China and the USA, enjoying football is a digital experience.

The pressure to bring live action to these hordes of football fans is steadily increasing.  Giving them one competitive match a year seems a small ask.  Parading Premier League stars in front of new markets will help to grow audiences and enhance the value of the TV rights in those overseas countries with their massive populations.

The Game 39 idea gives each team one extra game, played at neutral venue overseas.  This is an idea that’s at least 15 years old, but it’s never gone away and its time may have come.  Especially as the income generated for each club could be as much as 10m.

My View? 

Game 39 will obviously give millions of fans overseas a rare opportunity – to attend a live Premier League game between full-strength Premier League clubs for real points.

However, as usual, it’s all about income – can football squeeze some more?  Well, it seems that, for some clubs, Match 39 can produce more income than any other single game in the season – and it’s revenue with high profit margin.

Let us know what you think.


European Super League

Working together and in secret, the owners of Man United, Man City, Chelsea, Spurs, Arsenal and Liverpool wanted the ESL so badly, they were happy to put at risk the top income earner for the entire men’s game in our country.

It would be nice to think that the instant wave of fan revulsion that greeted the announcement of plans for these English clubs to join another league has succeeded in putting an end to it all.  But the clubs, the owners, the banks, the hedge funds and some greedy individuals haven’t gone away.

My View?

In order to escape huge instant punishment as they climbed down from their escape platform, the Big 6 clubs signed an agreement accepting that, if they do join the ESL, there will be dramatic fines and Premier League points deductions.  So, if they do choose to leave, it will be very, very expensive for them, and quite honestly I might just enjoy new tussles for Premier League leadership, fresh faces and an end to domination by the so-called Big 6.

I’ll also enjoy seeing Liverpool, Spurs, Chelsea or whoever at the foot of the ESL table, getting beaten week after week.  After all, someone has to be bottom!

Let us know what you think.


Bigger Goals

Don’t you want to see more goals scored?  Make the goalless draw a rarity?  How about score lines like this? Try a 6-6 draw, a 10-4 home win, a 7-5 away win – these score lines have all occurred just once ever in English professional football.  Do you think these games were more enjoyable than what we see these days?

My View?

I love it.  When football was invented, men were over 10cm shorter then they are now.  But the size of the goal has not changed.  Increasing the size of the goal by 31%  would only involve relatively minor changes in dimensions, but it would produce more shots, more saves and of course more goals.  Bigger goals just make sense, the spectacle of hundreds more goals is exciting, plus it adds to unpredictability.

Let us know what you think.


Replace Throw-Ins

This is to deal with time wasting at throw ins.  The theory is that the game will improve if every throw-in is replaced by a kick-in to be taken within 5 seconds of the ball going out.  The idea comes from Arsene Wenger, now FIFA’s Chief of Global Football Development.

My View?

Just unrealistic from a practical viewpoint.  Instead, when a team delays its throw-in, the referee has discretion to award the throw-in to the opposing team.  Why not use it?

Let us know what you think.


48 Team World Cup Finals

The Qatar World Cup had 32 teams and 64 matches, and it took 4 weeks to complete.  Seeking more money, FIFA has expanded the tournament.  Separately, the world governing body is floating the concept of World Cups every two years, instead of every four.

My View?

I’m all for teams qualifying for World Cups – when England failed to qualify, it was miserable.  But matches that don’t matter are not good for the game.  And over-exposing the precious property of the World Cup every other year won’t benefit fans – it’s just to make extra revenues for FIFA.

Let us know what you think.

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