Vital Football

Latest Walsall FC News

Fans fear for the financial future of football

Fans fear for the financial future of football

The latest FFC survey results appear on page 64 of this months edition of FC Business magazine. You can read the online version is also reproduced below.

Many thanks for your support. The FFC Team

The Alienated Majority? by Jon Busk

Fans across the Premier League and Football League have deep routed fears for the future of the game, according to the latest survey polled by the Football Fans Census.

The survey, conducted at the start of July, covered just under two thousand fans and asked what they felt were the biggest issues, and also the single biggest issue facing football at the moment. The results give a stark picture of terrace attitudes to the modern game. The biggest issues worrying fans across the divisions are the financial stability of the game, and the spirit in which it is being played.

The single most important issue to the fans surveyed was the level of debt in football, while financial concerns generally dominated the findings. Just under thirty per cent of fans polled listed either the levels of debt, the wealth gap or players wages as the biggest issues facing the sport.

Tim Gentles, MD of the Football Fans Census, commented "This might be painful reading for the football community but it is clear that there are deep routed fears about the financial future of the game on the terraces. On the one hand, venerable clubs like Southampton are clinging on for dear life, and on the other, transfer fees and wages are rocketing, fuelled by the cheque books of the Real Madrids and the Man Citys. These tensions have clearly been transmitted into very real fears for the regular football supporter"

Not surprisingly, there is a difference of opinion between the Premier League and the leagues below. The biggest issue for fans of Premier League clubs, according to the survey, is the level of players` wages, with 12% of fans surveyed citing this issue above all others. For fans of clubs in the Football League the wealth gap between clubs and the divisions was the top ranking issue, polling 14% of the fans in the survey.

Interestingly, the standard of refereeing did not appear highly in the findings. Whilst the tabloids and pundits alike foam at the mouth at the man in black every new season, fans are clearly worried about other things in the game. The standard of refereeing did not even appear in the overall top ten issues listed by fans in the survey, while only 3.5% of fans in the Premier League who took part listed it as the major issue facing football.

So while Andy Gray and Alan Green are seemingly kept awake at night by the latest travails of Mike Reilly, fans, it seems, have a longer term perspective.

What the survey does also reveal however, is a significant concern over the character of the game. When asked to list the five most important issues facing football, the most cited one was cheating and diving, mentioned by 41% of fans in the survey, while 35% supported the notion that football is becoming a commodity rather than a sport.

The general picture then does not make great reading for those who actually run the game. According to Gentles, "There is a huge amount of anxiety and angst over what I`d call the soul of the game. A combination of the way it is being played - cheating and diving- and the way it is being run. This isn`t just the usual gripe from league clubs about the rich getting richer. This is a universal malaise affecting all levels of supporters. The game they love, as they see it, is under threat"

What fans will actually do in response to their fears is unclear however. The prospect of fans up and down the country forming their own equivalent of F.C. United is unlikely. That said, it is clear that the patience of fans through all the divisions is being tested to the limit by those in the game. The game they fell in love with is fast becoming unrecognisable.

What do you think is THE single most important issue in football at the moment? (one option only)

Top 10 - All respondents


Levels of debt in football - 10.1%
Wealth gap between clubs / leagues - 9.9%
Players' wages - 9.8%
Game becoming a marketable commodity rather than a sport - 9.7%
Cheating and diving - 7.1%
Lack of competition, too much predictability (big club dominance) - 5.5%
Ticket prices - 5.0%
Number of clubs facing administration - 4.3%
Not enough money redistributed by Premier League - 4.2%
Size of transfer fees - 3.7%

What do you think are the most important issues in football at the moment? (up to 5 options)

Top 10 - All respondents


Cheating and diving - 41%
Players' wages - 37%
Game becoming a marketable commodity rather than a sport - 35%
Wealth gap between clubs / leagues - 32%
Levels of debt in football - 31%
Ticket prices - 27%
Lack of competition, too much predictability (big club dominance) - 25%
Foreign owners - 23%
Size of transfer fees - 22%
Not enough money redistributed by Premier League - 21%

Many thanks to everyone on Vital Football who took part.

FFC


Bookmark and Share



Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Writer:Rich
Date:Thursday July 30 2009
Time: 10:48PM

Comments

0
There was a Liverpool fan defending 213 million of debt because it was the lowest of the big 4. (his words) Doesnt that say it all?
denno4
06/08/2009 15:14:00
Page 1/1
  1. 1

Login to post a comment

Best of Vital Network

Vital Boxing - Lewis Tips Joshua to Win

Vital F1 - Blog: Sochi Preview

Recent Walsall Articles

Stats: Walsall v Port Vale

All the stats from Walsall (0) vs (1) Port Vale, Banks's Stadium, 25/04/2017 Att: 4,266

Whitney looking for a strong finish

With the end of the season in sight, Jon Whitney is hoping that his players can put on a show.

More Reliable Than A League 1 Octopus? (24/4/17)

Time for the new special computer that crunches the numbers to determine the final League One positions for 2016/17.

Coventry City v Walsall

Walsall's wait for an away win in 2017 will now roll on into the 2017/18 season after an uninspiring defeat against already relegated Coventry City.

A George Thomas strike on 39 minutes settl

Archived Vital Saddlers Articles

Vital Saddlers articles from

Site Journalists

TP1992
Editor email
Profile
Kev
no email
Profile

Current Poll (see more polls)

Where Will Walsall Finish?
Suggested By:
Automatic Promotion9%
Play Offs21%
Mid Table Medicority52%
Relegation18%

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
C Sheff Utd 45 29 10 6 97 44
2 Bolton 45 24 11 10 83 29
3 Fleetwood 45 23 12 10 81 21
4 Scunthorpe 45 23 10 12 79 24
5 Bradford 45 20 18 7 78 19
6 Millwall 45 19 13 13 70 8
7 Southend 45 19 12 14 69 16
8 Rochdale 45 19 11 15 68 9
9 Oxford 45 19 9 17 66 11
10 Bristol Rovers 45 18 12 15 66 -1
11 Peterborough 45 17 11 17 62 3
12 MK Dons 45 15 13 17 58 -1
13 Walsall 45 14 16 15 58 -4
14 Charlton 45 13 18 14 57 4
15 Wimbledon 45 13 17 15 56 -3
16 Northampton 45 14 10 21 52 -13
17 Oldham 45 12 16 17 52 -13
18 Shrewsbury 45 13 12 20 51 -15
19 Bury 45 13 11 21 50 -11
20 Gillingham 45 12 13 20 49 -20
21 Port Vale 45 12 12 21 48 -25
R Swindon 45 11 11 23 44 -19
R Coventry 45 9 12 24 39 -29
R Chesterfield 45 9 10 26 37 -34
The Vital Football Members League
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News
Vital Football Comment

Recent Walsall Results (view all)

Walsall Fixtures (view all)

Apr 30 2017 12:00PM : Milton Keynes Dons (H)
Sky Bet League One
Write for Vital Football