Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Bring Back / Take Away

The modern game of football is truly a wondrous thing, don't you agree? Spanking new stadiums, fans behaving responsibly, international star players gracing our pitches up and down the country. It doesn't get much better than this... or does it?

Well we here at SPAOTP think there's still room for improvement, but only really in a hypothetical sense, you understand. If you could remove something from football in its current form in order to make it better, what would it be? Similarly, what would you reintroduce or add to the game in order to improve it?

Well if you want my opinion, I'd:

1) Get rid of football agents
I know much has been said about agents in the past - especially last night, if you were watching Panorama - but let's package all this up into one concise statement to draw a line under the matter:

Agents do nothing but generate greed in the modern game, so they should be abolished.

There you go, I've said it now. What was wrong with the old system? Once upon a time, your average manager would send his assistant off to the home of some new starlet he was hoping to sign and was told not to come back until he'd got his name on the dotted line. Job done. Agents? Nothing but leeches if you ask me...

2) Bring back the old-fashioned clock
Nowadays we're all used to watching matches on TV with the current score and a running clock in full view all the time, but I say we should scrap it. Let's return to the way things used to be done years ago. Back in the 1970's we made do with an occasional caption telling us what the score was along with a pleasing round analogue-style clock. Perfect. No fuss, no bother. Who needs flashy computer graphics cluttering the screen when all you want to watch is the match?

Non-digital clock, as seen on Match of the Day

So what would you get rid of or bring back? There are surely many more things we could do to enrich the modern game by way of inclusion or exclusion, so tell us what you think by leaving us a comment. We look forward to seeing some of your suggestions!


Smart said...

7-0 ?!?!?! Did you edit the scoreline on that 'scoreboard' photo? You took a '1' off the front of the Bristol Rovers score didnt you..?

Me personally, I would

Terraces - We all know why they were taken away, but terraces werent the real\only problem that day.

The fences have long gone, and I'm sure some clubs wouldn't mind a terraced area, even it its a small part behind the goal or somewhere.

British Home Championship - Not directly to do with the game, but I liked the competition. Where it would fit into todays footballing calendar, however, I have no idea!

Black and White footballs - You know, the mainly white balls with black hexagonal panels, a la the Adidas Telstar of 1970.

Theres something special about watching them spin around as they are curled into the top corner of a goal.

ITV - Give all your football to someone thats interested in football as a sport and not for viewing figures, commercials and money making.

A high percentage of players wages - Have you read some of the comments made by Cashley Cole. Enough said there I fancy.

Characters - By that I mean people such as Brian Clough, Jimmy Greaves and Stan Bowles.

The best we have now are David Beckham, Robbie Savage and Arsene Moaner.

Chris said...

I can confirm that the picture taken from Match of the Day (circa 1977) is entirely bona fide and accounted for. And more to the point, the final score was Tottenham 9 Bristol Rovers 0. So there, ner. :-P

I'm not sure I'd bring back the whole British Championship, but the England v Scotland match would definitely be worth bringing back from the depths.

I'd definitely bring back the Telstar footballs! Great shout!

Take away 'characters'? Were you not a fan of Cloughie and his ilk?

Kedge said...

Good topic Chris. I think the mis-aligned numbers give it away that you doctored the pic.

Totally agree with you on the agents. I missed the programme as I was at Roots Hall hurling homophobic abuse at Brighton fans. But I did listen to Radio 5 this am and an agent justified his role on the basis that if hadn't been there Jermaine Pennant wouldn't be the player he is today.

And Smart. Yes! Bring back terraces. They can still segregate fans, so why can't we stand and cheer. Some of the seats are so small and uncomfortable, to stand would be a luxury.

BHC? I for 1 miss these games, but as you say, where do you fit them into the packed seasons?

Footballs. I agreee there as well. Some of these fancy designs are just there for the companies to make more money out of us.

Smart said...

Ooops, sorry Chris - RE: the 'Characters', that should have been a 'Bring back characters \ Take Away the Dullards\Primadonnas' - I miss Cloughie and the like.

I was never confused...

Kedge said...

I would like to be revolutionary here, and take issue with the off-side rule.

As far as I can make out there has never been a time when the off-side rule has not existed in one form or another. I believe that originally the law was similar to the rule in Rugby, whereby a player could not be in front of the ball so that in fact there was no such thing as a forward pass. That would kill off the "route 1" teams.

My thoughts are to scrap the rule completely and put the onus on the defenders to decide whether or not to cover an opponent who lurks near to their goal.

It would improve the flow of the game as there would be about 100 less stopages and therefore us fans would get more football for our money.

Secondly I'd scrap the Premiership/Championship and re-instate "League Division 1/2/3/4". All under one governing body. And merge the FA and Football League. What a farce it is having in effect 3 governing bodies.

Thirdly lets get rid of the play-offs. The weeks saved here could be used for the Home Internationals. What a gross mis-carriage of justice the play-offs are. A team comes 3rd on merit, maybe by a dozen points over their nearest rivals, but fails to gain promotion due to the result of maybe just 1 match.

Back to the question of agents.
Some may say that without agents we wouldn't have some of the multitude of foreign stars gracing our pitches. Well maybe thats not such a bad thing. More room for home grown talent to emerge and improve. After all, some of these foreigners are only here because their agent has managed to secure an over-inflated salary for them. Undoubtably many would remain and if the whole of football joined in to rid the game of these peats, then maybe those who truely wanted to test themselves in our league would continue to arrive, by invitation of the clubs, rather than the salesmanship of the agent. Players wages would fall (or rather would not rise by such ridiculous ammounts) and there would be more money in the game to bring about improvements at every level.

Ah! How does Utopia seem?
Nought but a distant dream!

Nitpicking time.
The definition of "starlet" is a young, emerging, female actress (especially in the film industry).
Mind you, that might liven some of the games up a bit.

Smart said...

Scrap the offside rule? I dont think you've thought that one through, young Kedge.

Defensively, teams would sit on the penalty spot, as, offensively the attackers would be in that area.

That would mean that defence to attack would resort to the quickest and easiest method - the long ball.

And I didnt have you down as a George Graham fan. ;-)

However, reinstating the old League 1,2,3,4 is one I do agree with.

Getting rid of the play-offs is something I've been calling for years, but you do realise that your beloved Wet Spam wouldnt be in the premiership without it?

Chris said...

I'd like to scrap the off-side rule as well, Kedge, but as Smart says it would only encourage Route 1 football by giving the attackers an excuse to wait for the ball on the opposing team's goal line.

I am SO with you on scrapping the current league system in favour of a return to Divisions 1 to 4!!! Great suggestion! And the divisional play-offs are unnecessary as well. In Brazil, they have an EIGHT-TEAM play-off to decide who wins the CHAMPIONSHIP there - not promotion! Do we want that? I think not!!!

The reason I'm against bringing back the entire Home International Championship is because I believe we should be free to play anyone in the world that we like. If we want to play Scotland, Northern Ireland or Wales, we should specifically schedule it in, but who's to say we wouldn't like to see England play someone from Asia, Africa or South America instead?

And for your reference, Smart, I don't think Kedge supports West Ham. Southend and Man Utd are your teams, aren't they Kedge? :)

Smart said...

Sorry to offend, Kedge, if I labelled you as regular to the 'Bouncy Castle'

Talking of terraces... (see earlier!), its often reminds me of TWO stories my dear old Dad often trots out whenever we are taking a trip down 'Memory Lane'.

"I can remember going to Spurs and there was over 60,000 for the match against Manchester United. When the match finished and you made your way out, it was so tightly packed that had to go wherever the majority were heading. You could take your feet off the floor and you'd still be moving."

"It was so packed on the terraces that you had no chance of getting to the toilets. You'd often feel a warm trickle running down your leg thanks to the bloke behind you. Kept you warm on a cold day, mind..."

Who suggested to bring back terraces again... ;-)

Chris said...

Hang on, let me just scroll up to the top of the page for a second... ;-)

Kedge said...

Something else to scrap. The Inter-Toto Cup. I mean, what is that all about? Its not even for B, C, or D teams. The A, B, and some C rated teams get into Champions League (Bring back the European Cup I say!). The C and D teams get into that other Euro competition along with some of the failures from the CL. And some no-hopers get into a strange cup competition based upon how few bookings they acquired.

Despite the number of games I can watch, I would much prefer to go back to the old days of the Champions in the Euro Cup on a knock out basis, the FA Cup winners in the Cup Winners Cup (also on KO) and the runners up in the remaining Cup competition.

Of course, that will never happen as too many clubs want the money that comes from playing as many games as possible, despite the effect it has on the players health, the fans wallets, and last but by no means least, the England Team.


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