I shall not reveal which CEO of an AIM listed company sent me the following piece from the Sun Newspaper. I am shocked that this fairly cerebral fellow (though he hides it well) is a Sun reader but lets his shareholders also take a dim view, I shall not name him. The gist of the piece is that in terms of the cost of my season ticket at West Ham per home goal scored/home win I will get the worst value in the League. For the best value I should support Man City instead. Hmmmm… It reads:
MANCHESTER City offer fans the best value for money in the Premier League, a study found. Based on performances and season ticket prices, supporters of last year’s champions pay just £7.73 per goal and £23.61 for each home win. Hotshot Sergio Aguero scored the last-minute title winner.
West Ham fans face the most costly season. Experts predict each home victory will cost £123.33 and £19.47 per home goal. Liverpool fans pay the most per goal — £30.21 — after a low-scoring season.
The study, by money saving website vouchercodes.co.uk, also worked out which supporters pay the most over a season.
By calculating the cost of a season ticket, shirt, scarf, pie and pint at each home game, Arsenal fans will shell out £1,175 — while for Wigan fans it is just £462. A spokesman said: “Fans need to consider wider cost implications before they commit to following a team.”
I shall not use vouchercodes.co.uk ( not that I ever have) on principle and I hope no-one else does. You support a team for all sorts of reasons but not because it is cheap or expensive to do so or because you get more home wins/goals per pound spent there. That is not what Sport is about. I grew up as a rugby player but moved to London and while off rugby started supporting my local team – West Ham. Earlier in life, the great Neil Masuda had to tried to steer me that way anyway so the door was wide open. I have never once considered that it might be cheaper to support Southend or that I might get more goals per pound by supporting Chelsea. What rot.
I sense the folks at couchercodes.co.uk do not understand the idea of supporting a team in a tribal sense and what sport is all about. I bet they support Man United.
The other thing that grabs me is this obsession with goals. A goalfest does not necessarily equate to a great game or great football, although I admit that West Ham’s lack of goals might reflect the underlying fact that they are not very good. But modern sport is all about goals, points, home runs – not necessarily skill, guile or what really makes great sport. And so baseball bats and cricket bats have become heavier. That means more home runs/sixes. Does it mean more skilful placement of the ball to get players on second and third bases home/ a clever single? No. It is not about skill it is about slogging it out of the park/scoring goals.
And so a great penalty box diver in soccer is feted as he delivers goals. Does that make for more entertaining sport. Is a brutal slog for six more of a delightful shot to watch that a delicate cover drive for four?
I am afraid that this article sums up so much of what is rotten about modern sport.