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A time for change
By Chris Lawton
So the new season is well under way. Managers have already been sacked, clubs are getting worried about relegation and English teams are still losing in Europe. It all sounds a bit familiar. The top of the Premiership, after Sheffield Wednesday's surprising start, has a familiar look to it already. Who would bet against the trophy going to Old Trafford, Anfield or St James Park. In the other divisions there is again little change. The early season hopefuls are starting to get into gear with the top and the bottom clubs staying fairly fixed from now until May when it is all made official.

For three valiantly battling sides the dreaded drop from the Premiership into first division obscurity. For three valiantly battling sides the stardom and riches of the Premiership will be waiting. That paradise of a division where full houses are a certainty and a host of foreign stars knocking on your door to play in arguably the world's top division.

But the system needs to change. The top five clubs, along with S*Y, now control football. The FA has sold out to sponsorship and TV deals are driving the sport into an elitist select group. Because of this system the top five clubs take more of the money...the very clubs that need it the least. It is time for change. Brighton, and many other clubs, will die if there is no change. The system needs an overhaul and the sooner the better.

Firstly the FA and the Football League need to put their feet down. They need to tell S*Y where to go and to stop messing around with the fixture lists. All matches should be played on a Saturday afternoon except for one to played Saturday night at 8 pm. Midweek matches should then be played on a Tuesday or a Wednesday. If the players are complaining about fixture pile up this should remove it.

The little clubs of this world are suffering. The top clubs need to get their act together. They need to stop demanding so much of the cake and an inverse system should be introduced. The top club should receive the least money the bottom the most. A system similar to the draft system in American Football. The big clubs wouldn't go for this because ultimately it would produce a more even selection of teams breaking their power grip. All the TV money should be pooled for all 94 clubs and split up with Brighton receiving the most, Liverpool the least - as things stand at the moment.

We also need to change the staff. Too much of the game as a whole is run as a buisness. The aim of the game is no longer to entertain but to make money. In effect when you go to a game you are paying money to a club to watch 11 people try and make money for that club. In the past football was an entertainment, now it is a business. The reason for this is too many club chairmen are after money from clubs and the FA staff to out of touch to realise. It has to change. A football club is an investment, yes - but not one to make money out of.

So there we are - a simple three point approach. Not perfect by any means but an attempt to redress the balance. An attempt to make the system fairer and to give the little clubs a chance. So I say well done York. Despite all the money in the top division little clubs can still cause an upset. However, for that very reason the big clubs will spend more and demand more money to stop it happening again. It is a corrupt system that funds the rich clubs and brings suffering to the little clubs and their thousands of loyal supporters.

So come a sunny afternoon in May a big club will be crowned champions. Not necessarily because their tactics were any better, nor their skill level but ultimately they spent their vast sums of money on eleven talented individuals. If they are lucky, for all their teamwork, Brighton and Hove Albion will still be a football club.