Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Labour Trying to Buy Football Fans

Labour is so desperate it is now jumping on yet another bandwagon, the ownership of football clubs. Not content with cocking up every other thing it has touched it now wants to take control and ruin football. If it sees a bandwagon it just can't resist jumping on it.

Yes football is in a mess but that is down to FA negligence, verging on criminal complacency in the 1980s. State dabbling will do nothing but screw it up even more. Let's face it when did state control ever produce anything remotely dynamic, innovative and envied outside the small minded obsessive minds of fanatical socialists?

Remember Skoda? The butt of so many jokes when it was a state owned basket case under socialism, now a different thing all together under capitalist ownership. Indeed all socialism, or state ownership, ever does is take what has been built by capitalism and smother it. Name one dynamic improvement or great invention in the twentieth century that sprang from state owned operations rather than capitalist operations.

Following is an excellent piece from today's Times online:

When politicians interfere in sport it’s the mark of a Middle Eastern dictator with psychopathic sons or a Soviet bloc regime. But flushed with its success at saving the world’s banks, Labour is now promising to sort out professional football.

Its proposals include requiring clubs to give a chunk of shares to supporters’ trusts; giving fans the first option to bid if clubs are put up for sale; that the FA restructures its board and leagues be given powers to oversee takeovers.

Labour wants to give clubs back to communities; its ideal is the Spanish giant Barcelona, whose president and board are elected every four years. Fans want an end to clubs such as Portsmouth going into administration, crippling debts at Manchester United and Liverpool and mid-season chaos like that in the Blue Square Premier, where Chester’s collapse provoked expensive legal squabbles.

But government interference isn’t the answer. OK, nobody likes to see their club go down the Swanee — but many, such as Aldershot and Accrington Stanley — come back. English football isn’t in such a bad shape. Each week the Premier League’s internationalism, on the field and off, delivers a product that millions pay good money to follow. We also have the world’s largest professional and semi-pro structure. Every town and village of any size has journeymen pros kicking lumps out of each other for beer money and the dream. My own tastes — I am a supporter of Southport (Blue Square North) — lie in this hardcore direction.

We surely don’t need more employees at another regulator producing more rules. And if private football clubs make a hash of things, it shouldn’t be the business of ministers — football is not vital to the economy.

Nor are supporters’ trusts any panacea. Barcelona’s structure is not perfect, tied up as it is with dodgy doses of Catalan politics. Nor is Spanish football immune to debt: bankers have extended credit lines that would cause Alistair Darling to have a fit of the vapours.

You have to be pretty convinced that management will improve to interfere with private property by redistributing company shares. But supporters are no more forward looking than today’s pantomime villain owners. Fans’ forums are the first to demand the sacking of managers and the purchase of overpriced superstars.

And if trusts fail to deliver hoped-for prudence, the regulator (OffSide?) will surely want more laws. Oh, and a bigger budget. Don’t go there is my advice. It’s only a game.

Professor J. R. (Len) Shackleton is Dean of Royal Docks Business School, University of East London

And if you are naive enough to scream that the government should do something every time there is a problem, just sit back and think. What you are really saying is Gordon Brown, Peter Mandelson and all those other stinking parasites you probably loathe should do something. Think about it!

Original article and some excellent comments here.


T Bishop Finger said...

Unfortunately, judging by the reaction of some of my colleagues at work this week, it's working.

Gregg Beaman said...

Just proves my point in my last post about football and politics a week or so ago. Bloody mugs!