Football is a proxy for neoliberalism

Football is a proxy for neoliberalism
Photo by dominik hofbauer / Unsplash

A few months ago we saw billionaire football owners attempt to change the football pyramid which caused deep anger among supporters and vested interests.

The owners wanted to develop a league of their own, to extract more profit for their clubs which would've put less well off clubs in deep financial peril.

The whole episode is a parable of neoliberalism. Football clubs are in financial dire straits because of the pandemic. And in this disaster, the billionaires are looking to save themselves and exploit the situation.

Naomi Klein coined the term disaster capitalism to describe the past week's very events.

The billionaire owners didn't ask the employees (players) and supporters what they thought about their idea - they just announced it was going to happen.

Other corporate interests such as FIFA and media monopolies like SKY leveraged fans' anger because the proposals threatened their TV deals, their bottom line.

Much in the same way the Tories and right wing press divide underserved communities to maintain their electoral power.

I'm thinking how working class communities were sold nationalism, tighter immigration controls and Brexit as a cure for generations of economic cuts.

If it wasn't for the collective visceral anger and action of supporters the Super League would've gone ahead.

Some personal observations

1- Supporters should recognise their power, exercise it, so it develops a culture of power in their subcultures and communities

2- Supporters should be aware of vested interests in the media such as SKY and explicitly condemn and challenge all vested interest. Don't be manipulated by them

3-Supporters are citizens who care deeply about their clubs traditions and values. How can we raise awareness that what's happened to football is a symptom of neoliberalism?

4- Collective action means fighting power by joining forces with other sections of society who’re equally exploited e.g workers, ethnic minorities, LGBT communities.

Football is political, don’t let powerful men tell you otherwise. We don’t watch the game to enrich billionaire owners. Our love of the game is inexplicable and human.