Football fans often get depressed, angered or confused by the fact
that the game is largely run by incompetents, crooks, charlatans,
penguins and media moguls. Still, don't seek counselling just yet,
console yourself with the thought that British football could be run
like higher education...
All pay would no longer be negotiated with clubs, but paid on a
national pay scale with annual pay increments for each player
irrespective of merit, and a bizarre minimum pay level for players
aged twenty seven and over. There will be four distinct levels within
these scales, "journeyman", "half-decent player", "guvnor" and
"football genius". Promotion from one level to the next will depend on
having spent sufficient hours coaching, doing enough tidying up of the
dressing room, and sitting on enough committees.
Administrators and trophy room staff will be paid on the same pay
scale, except they won't need apprenticeships so will be able to start
four years earlier. Top administrators and trophy room staff will be
paid more than any of the players, as after all, they run the place.
They will also be members of, and dominate, the PFA.
The old league table system of three points for a win and one point for a
draw would be scrapped in favour of a football assessment
exercise. All players would have to submit video evidence of their
best four goals of the season, and a group of selected players would
meet behind closed doors and grade each team on a scale of one to
five. Each team can choose not to include certain players if they will
bring down their average, in which case the player's career will of course
go down the toilet. All funding of teams will be based on this rating.
Coaches and trainers will continually have to go through a coaching
quality assessment, where their coaching will be assessed not by other
footballers or coaches but by ballet dancers and scuba divers. (Ballet
dancing and scuba diving instructors will in turn be assessed by
Footballers' pay would have gone down in real terms since 1981, and
down about 30% relative to teachers' pay. Footballers will have to
stage a one-day national strike and threaten to boycott the end of
season games to get a pay increase that matches inflation for that
Liverpool and Manchester United will be paid an extra £31 million
on top of what they'd get anyway, as they are the only teams with
an international record for excellence. Ostensibly this money will go
to give each player individual coaching, but in reality it will go on
expensive dinners and subsidised accommodation for players and fans.
Fans will pay a standard annual fee to go to games, irrespective of
the number of games they go to, the quality of the view or what team
they are seeing. They will pay this fee over a period lasting up to
thirty years after their last game. This will be means-tested - not
according to their own salary but that of their parents at the time
they start going to games.
All players would be put on six-month contracts, with clauses removing
their statutory rights to redundancy or to appeal against unfair
dismissal. The transfer system will be abolished, as this implies some
kind of respect for the value of staff and the contribution they make.
All security staff will be over sixty and incapable of doing anything
constructive, except occasional moaning at kids who roller-blade
outside the ground. They will of course be paid a pittance.
Footballers' coaches and hotels for away games will become a thing of
the past. Players will have to use public transport, and stay in
University Halls of Residence when going to away games.
(Is there anything you'd like to get off your chest, Apollo? At all? - Ed)