Football’s gears need to keep grinding to fill the pockets of its stakeholders and sponsors, and the clubs themselves are businesses first and sporting entities second. The games are part of their branding strategy; a rolling advert which never ends.August 23, 2019
Following football is essentially a full-time job now. The endless blur of Saturday-Wednesday-Saturday-Wednesday thrums through the calendar like a bassline and – with press conferences, transfer news, twitter, and fantasy football, it’s easy to become overwhelmed.
This is no accident. The Football Industrial Complex demands ceaseless expansion. The World Cup is getting bigger. The European Championships have already been expanded. Women’s soccer at all levels deserves much more attention. Soon, FIFA will launch its re-imagined Club World Cup, too. There are still times of the week upon which the sport has yet to plant its flag, but none of those days are safe and nothing is sacred.
Is this what fans want? Not really, but that doesn’t seem to matter. Profit is king and at its worst, football looks a lot like capitalism: mechanised, distasteful, unavoidable.
But what if it wasn’t? What if we could press the pause button on football? What if, against all odds, everyone involved in the game agreed to stop, just for a year? Not the whole industry, but the matches.
What would happen? And might the sport be better for it?