In these modern times many people haven’t even heard of the KGB or the Stasi, but they still feel compelled to run around in their Che Guevara t-shirts. Yes, our culture has sunken to the point where history is forgotten, because it can’t be compressed into a 140 character tweet, and because it requires a certain degree of nuance and knowledge to understand what history actually is. Simple words like ”communism” may shock a Texan to such an extent that he will drop his prayer snake, because he perceives it as an intrusion on his civil liberties. Just like a black man running America, you know, but the Texan in question wouldn’t even know that Marx and Engels were for abolishing the government, something the Texan in his tiny little brain might think is a good thing. (He might change his mind when nobody is there to execute death row inmates anymore though…)
However, we can overcome the anti-intellectual prison of our time and remember the good things that communism can give the average citizen, and football fan for that matter, if they are applied correctly. Here is list of five communist measures that can save football.
1. Nationalize all teams
Yes, football should be governed by a central authority. Having a leadership that has its own fancy notions of distributing TV-rights abroad without consensus won’t help football in the long run. Furthermore, most teams have tons of fans, nationalizing them would make sure that they’ll never go out of business. Many managers and sporting directors have in the past ruined entire clubs by simply over spending. If all teams are nationalized this won’t happen anymore.
And remember, we bailed out the banks several times, what have we gotten in return? Legislation hasn’t changed, and most of the cash they needed in order to stay solvent hasn’t been returned to the tax payers. If football teams are nationalized, they would truly belong to the people.
2. Pay players working class wages
The wages players receive these days have grown to absurd heights. Many players have earned more by the age of 22 than most football fans will ever make throughout the course of their lives. If football wants to be a sport of the people, those who are playing it must have an understanding of what everyday people go through. It is wrong for a person in their mid-20s without a proper education to drive several high end cars. And, shouldn’t football really be about the soul and beauty of the game, and not money?
3. Football is for the masses, and mass entertainment shouldn’t cost you too much
Attending football matches has gotten too expensive in recent years. Even buying a beer at a football match can cost you more than what you’ll make working an hour. This is wrong. All national federations should limit ticket prices to somewhere around 5 quid, and find an appropriate price for the beer and the food that is served in all stadiums.
4. Nationalize TV rights
Every TV station that wants to broadcast football should do so, without paying a dime. Football is for the masses after all, remember?
5. Limit the number of player transfers, and abandon transfer fees
Well, if all teams want to compete on equal terms there is only one solution. Abandon transfer fees, because they have always separated ”the haves” from ”the haves not”! If you limit the amount of transfers as well, you’ll put in a challenge for the teams that supporters of the planned economy would appreciate: If you fail to plan, you plan a failure. Your squad, and your youth policy must be considered carefully if you plan to succeed under these circumstances.
Let’s start the revolution…
So these are my five points that could potentially start a revolution that fixes everything wrong with football.
Hang on, you don’t want football to become entirely communistic? Even though you would have agreed with at least three or four of the points I just made after a few pints in the pub?
Well, maybe then it is something else that fixes football: Careful consideration from fans, teams and national federations alike, before acting on an impulse and demanding things we haven’t even thought about properly… Like history, there are always nuances to most things in the world of football, we should remember to keep them in mind.
By Niklas Wildhagen.