Football's failure
Leeds, Chester, Bournemouth, Southampton, Portsmouth... The list goes on and on. Football is dying.
The Football authorities - Football Association and Football League have consistently failed football fans. It is true that the end of the wage cap started the decline, but without this you could argue that the 1966 World Cup win would not have been possible. An internationally policed wage cap would help
all of football, but is unlikely to get passed.
In 1966 the lowly side, Accrington Stanley went bust. They were one of the founding clubs of the football industry we now know. It wasn't the first, and as we have seen, it isn't the last. Unfortunately, the authorities did nothing.
The prizes on offer are immense, whether you are talking about promotion to the next division or a spot in Europe, or the ultimate prize - a Champions League place. These prizes on offer are the reason many clubs bet their futures.
So when, in 1992, the Football Association decided that it wanted to keep more of the TV and sponsorship revenues for themselves. The premiership clubs in their greed welcomed this with open arms, although many of the clubs that have since fallen down the pyramid may regret what they did.
The FA, in taking a larger cut of the profits cut off the supply of funding to the lower leagues, including the non-league or semi-professional/amatuer leagues. This has in the last 18 years also helped cut off the development of new English footballers. The FA wanted the new Premiership to help support the efforts of the national team in wining the World Cup again. Their actions have, however, probably led to the opposite occurring.
Portsmouth are now the first top-level club to go bust. They have had numerous owners in this fateful year, despite the FA supposedly vetting club owners. But it doesn't stop there.
One of the world's most successful clubs - Manchester United was sold seven years ago to the American Glazier family who bough the club with huge amounts of debt with which he lumbered the club. Supporters now want to buy it off the family, but they are unlikely to sell their cash cow! But with the debt still in place, the club are in peril, despite success on the pitch.
Where to now? Well I think that we will see many more clubs going busy whilst the football Lords sitting in their ivory towers in Soho Square continue to ignore the problems. Grassroots football is being strangled, and top levels are producing young footballers who are over paid, uncontrollable and bankrupting their clubs.
Many of your favourite clubs will undoubtedly die before anything happens, but too little and too late. And as for the World Cup - we will have to continue to wait. When the greed leaves football, and we focus on the sport, we may stand a chance.
Pity really, seeing as we invented the game!