North vs South All-Star Game: Teams Picked By The Fans…

By on March 2, 2011

At this time of the season you expect game after game, coming thick and fast, all of them feeling like they could define your season and decide whether your team will go into the record books as also-rans or real contenders. Unfortunately, or giving our current injury concerns, fortunately that’s not been the case. Two games in the last two weeks has led to a sense of boredom but also a sense of standing on the precipice of what could be one of the great seasons in recent years, even surpassing last season. In reality we’re a month away from the real business end of the season with six games scheduled for April, not including any potential champions league games if we complete the Italian job next Wednesday night.

This isn’t the time to talk about that though. With boredom and anticipation comes day dreaming and I’ve had a thought. Not Spurs related as such but football in general. The one thing I’ve noticed this season is a large proportion of fans from all clubs moaning about the cost of football nowadays and how the fan has taken a back seat to the corporations and money men.

This oh so glorious of seasons for us has been overshadowed with the possibility of moving stadium and boroughs. Whether you were for or against the move it was the subject of most discussions and caused a split within the fan community. West Ham fans have a similar problem now with some liking the move and others not wanting to have anything to do with it. Leyton Orient fans must be worried about the future of their club, as are Plymouth fans although for largely differing reasons.

Look at the cost of attending a game at White Hart Lane. If you’re a season ticket holder you’ve got the best of a bad deal (only just) because an adult member is looking at an average of £41 per ticket to see 10 home games in the cheapest part of the stadium. If you’re lucky to live nearby that’s all it will cost you but as we know Spurs attract fans from all over the country. Personally I travel from the south west and that £41 will turn into £70 per game if I manage to book a advanced train (2-3 months). Of course when TV gets involved as it did for the recent Sunderland away game fans who have already spent money on transport to and from the game can usually kiss goodbye to that cash, but that isn’t a consideration.

However, while it’s a lot of money and we’d all like it to be cheaper no-one forces us to go to the games. There will be plenty of people reading this that rarely, if ever go and watch the games on TV, over the internet or just catch the highlights.

It’s not just football though. Look at the recent India v England ODI cricket match in Bangalore. These figures are from memory so excuse me if they’re a little off but the stadium held approximately 35,000 with only 7,500 tickets being made available to fans. The rest were for sponsors and corporations, no doubt paying vast amounts of money for the privilege and keeping those in charge at the ICC (crickets equivalent of FIFA) very happy. There were riots in the streets as the “normal” fan stood in queues over a mile long for a couple of days in the hope they’d be able to see their heroes in action.

The Champions League final tickets are on sale now for what will hopefully be one of our greatest, if not our greatest ever victory. UEFA have announced the cheapest ticket price of £150 + £26 (admin fee) per ticket for the 11,000 general sale tickets. If your team is lucky enough to get to the final each club will be allocated 25,000 with the cheapest being £80. The capacity of Wembley is 86,000 and only 50,000 (58%) of those seats will definitely be taken by fans of the teams playing. Even if you say fans will get hold of the other 11k, that’s still only 70% of the stadium that will be football fans. The remaining 30% will once again go to the money men.

I’m sick of it. In my opinion football won’t last much longer if it continues. How much more can a ticket for 90 minutes of entertainment (or otherwise if you lose or you’re a stoke fan) cost before fans start deserting in their thousands? Is it any surprise United couldn’t sell 6000 season tickets this season? So here’s my idea. It’ll never happen because it wouldn’t be cost effective but it’s a nice thought.

How about an all-star game purely for the fans? North against South. Quite where the line would be drawn between north and south I’m not sure but instead of playing the Charity Shield which has become one of the most pointless games in the football schedule why not play a dream team match?

Teams would be decided by the fans from online polls in each position. It’d be a very attacking game because who’s going to vote in a tough tackling ball winner in the centre of the park? Full backs would probably be the marauding type and we’d get to see all the best players competing together and against each other. The managers would also be picked by fans. It would build on the friendly north / south divide that exists in football and here’s the big one:

  • It would be free for fans to attend

As crazy as that sounds and it’s the reason why it would never take off or be considered, that and the fact clubs probably wouldn’t allow their star players to participate in what was an exhibition match. Imagine a draw for tickets. Apply online and if you’re lucky enough you get to go for free. To make sure everyone gets a chance to go you can only get tickets once every three years or something like that.

Obviously, it’s just an idea and would never happen. We as fans no longer matter. We’re not the important part of a football club any more, at least not as important as we once were.

So, that’s it. Something to give back to the fans as a thank you for the thousands each of us spend a season, for the time changes because of TV schedules and the lost transport costs and a thank you from those fortunate enough to make a living from the game we all love because as much money as the corporations, money men and TV executives throw at the game there’s really only one set of people who matter to football and that’s us.

Hopefully that’s helped to kill some time before we can start dreaming of a top 4 finish again but just in case, why not watch this massive pitch fight from the Foggia v Gela Seria B match.

COYS

Submitted by THFC1882


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