Monday, 8 August 2011

Football's forgotten it's in the "selling dreams" business

So the new Premier League season's a matter of days away and while collecting some thoughts on the title race, it's dawned on me that even the most casual observer could probably set out a league table resembling the reality of next May.

It's so predictable, isn't it? For anyone but three teams, winning the league is beyond dreams and for the rest, ambition falls into narrow categories of finishing higher than before, being top in October, not being relegated - or going on a cup run.

Even the Community Shield steeplechase presented a microcosm of the season ahead. Bold, big-spending Manchester City raced into a two-nil half-time lead against Manchester United, before succumbing to the Champions in a shocking case of believing their own hype before the game had finished.

And so the usual protagonists will be "there or thereabouts come the end of the season", leaving the rest of us to delude ourselves about how we might've challenged "higher up".

It's just business, right? a kind of new commercial warfare. If you're up against the likes of Fergie, Abramovich and Abu Dhabi Babby, there are significant barriers to entry. It's about the money. honey.
Roberto Mankini
And if football is only a business, then let me cloak this in terms a businessperson might understand:

There's a conflict of interest with your customer-base.

As fans, we believe in dreams.... and it's just not good enough to present football as a "lifestyle choice". Who wants to traipse around the country watching your plucky team draw and finish 9th?

Because if football is just a lifestyle choice, then people will begin choosing other things to do. Football had better watch its back.

Meanwhile as if to prove my point about predictability, see how close this is to the final reckoning at the end of the season:

You need shades in Smethwick, Roy.

1. Manchester United
2. Chelsea
3. Manchester City
4. Arsenal
5. Liverpool
6. Tottenham Hotspur
7. Aston Villa
8. Fulham
Bloody 'ell
9. Everton
10. Stoke City
11. Ravioli
12. Chunky Chips
13. Blah Blah

Fergie says: "Leave your predictions in the Comments Section below".
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