HAS football been reduced to a sideshow for broadcasters?
I watched the unedifying spectacle of transfer deadline day, the crass central theme being bucketloads of cash being thrown at clubs around the country.
And all for the delectation of a bunch of over-excited TV journalists camped outside training grounds from dawn ’til dusk for a faint whiff of a loan deal.
Yet our national game has to be about more than just money and self interest.
I have written previously about the governance of the game and the need for regulations such as Financial Fair Play to have real relevance.
For football in this country to survive it is becoming increasingly more desperate for it to gain control.
The pyramid system is sacrosanct and the Premier League is not the only league of value.
In recent weeks we’ve had calls to bin the League Cup and the FA Cup devalued by Jurgen Klopp refusing to attend last night’s replay against Shrewsbury — all amid claims of too many games.
These competitions provide crucial revenue to Football League clubs that are brutalised by the drip-down effect of wages from the Premier League.
Yet clubs like Liverpool will gladly play in Club World Cups and participate in the expansion of that into a 24-team summer tournament.
They also happily engage in increasing the Champions League from 13 games to 17 or even 21. In the end it will dovetail into a European Super League.
Why? Because it pays them.
If governing bodies don’t act soon, the Premier League and its agenda will end up not being the force for good for British football that it once was.
Instead, it will bring about the destruction of all other football in our country.
FFP represents salvation for English football.
As a former owner that spent the thick end of £50million before running out of money during a banking crisis (as well as too much chutzpah on my part), I believe it is imperative that the game governs itself financially.
Clubs in the Championship are at each other’s throats, with the likes of Derby and Sheffield Wednesday trying to circumnavigate FFP.
In my time ideas such as the Phoenix League were discussed, with Crystal Palace, Birmingham, Wolves and Manchester City among those suggesting a breakaway to concentrate the minds of an incompetent, intransigent Football League.
Football’s financial governance is based on regulating how much a club is allowed to lose in three-year cycles.
This is ridiculous and immature — an industry needs to be profitable to survive and clubs have to be self-sustaining.
It’s no surprise FFP contraventions are occurring more regularly in the Championship. Football is now almost unsustainable outside the Premier League for one reason only — wages.
Every time a club puts a betting company on their shirts it is because they need the money. The problem is 90 per cent of it will simply go to players and agents and do nothing to make the club more sustainable.
FFP needs to be implemented correctly and clubs sanctioned properly (rather than, say, Man City refusing to recognise Uefa’s jurisdiction or Paris Saint-Germain factoring fines into their business plan).
Clubs must be booted out of leagues, like Saracens. In rugby union you have proper controls — then you see adherence.
A big club has to be taken down to have an impact in football.
That would bring about salvation for all and may have saved Bury — and whoever is next.