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Football 101 – A Girl’s Guide to Football – What’s In It For You

Imagine with me, if you will, the image of football’s future at a restaurant. Worry not, we are not looking at a fast food joint during a major tournament, the gaudy images of Disney characters doing scissor kicks is not welcome here. I am, of course, speaking metaphorically. Within our scene we see a top table, reserved for the best, the more sizeable contingent. Here we see our Real Madrid’s and Barcelona’s, our Manchester United’s and Chelsea’s, our Milanese giants. We look on as they stuff more into there already full mouths, chairs buckling beneath weighty posteriors, crumbs and excess falling to the ground around their feet. As we look down we see a sight that is unpleasant for anyone to view. The once great powers of Paris St Germain, Ajax and Celtic are scrambling to claim what they can from the slurry, enough maybe to see out starvation for just one more season. Is this the way our game is headed?

There is a gulf beginning to open; an expanse which will seemingly become harder and harder to bridge. The divide of which I speak is that between the various leagues under the weighty jurisdiction of the UEFA. As the big guns get fatter, those of lower stature become increasingly separated. The football associations of leagues such as Scotland, Belgium and Holland can only look on in awe as their bulkier neighbours enjoy increased sponsorship revenue, an influx of the cream of players from around the globe and as a result, greater worldwide coverage.

When the news of the English Premiership last week agreeing a television rights deal that will result in even the side finishing last at the end of the season pocketing £30 million, an equal sum to that which Chelsea received for their Championship winning term last year, the emphasis on the increasing gulf became all the more clear. So what does the future hold for side’s in leagues aside from the ‘Big 3’ of England, Italy and Spain?

Scottish football has now reached a juncture at which the league championship has become increasingly insignificant. Without doubt there will be fireworks, champagne and Tenants Super a-plenty at Parkhead when the inevitable occurs, but by many Bhoys supporters will concede that the ease at which their side continually win the championship does diminish the achievement to an extent. It now seems that Celtic and Rangers now focus their attentions more upon European competition than domestic.

This in itself creates a vicious circle. A cyclone that reduces the worthiness a various country’s domestic programmes, the upshot of this will ultimately render the teams effected occupying the unenviable position of having their finances, potential purchases and competitiveness marginalised. The effects of this, which many may argue we are already experiencing, could be catastrophic.

The richer the ‘big three’ leagues of England, Spain and Italy become, the harder it will become for those following to keep pace. Over the past decade this effect has become prevalent. Using the Champions League as an example, only twice in the past ten years have sides away from the ‘elite’ brought home the famous trophy. Taking this into consideration looking forwards, surely the chasm that divides will only widen, possibly to the extent to which long established leagues from countries like the Netherlands, Scandinavia and possibly even France become little more than feeder leagues to those who have established financial superiority.

The question that must be addressed is what can be done about this issue? Having recently succeeded UEFA stalwart Lennart Johansson, former France captain Michel Platini has many difficult tasks in his new role as president of the organisation, but I foresee this issue ข่าวบอล   to be of huge importance in keeping the sport in the possession of the people.

The issue has been previously debated heavily in the Netherlands. At some point over the past ten years, all of the nations three most successful clubs (Ajax Amsterdam, Feyenoord and PSV Eindhoven have voiced their desire to potentially leave the Dutch Championship as, similarly to in with the Old Firm sides of Scotland, they feel that they can gain nothing more from this competition.

Although this has not yet materialised, talk has been apparent of a merger between such leagues. Using the working title of a ‘Northern European Superleague’ it was voiced that an alliance as the title confers could give teams in this predicament a new lease of life. The new league could theoretically be as strong as any other whilst simultaneously enabling the clubs involved to fulfil the potential they posses, a potential really only denied previously due to a geographical misfortune.

The Ajax’s, Celtic’s and Anderlecht’s from across the continent would welcome this with open arms. It would instantly grant the prospective clubs money making opportunities that they had never experienced before. It has long been the argument of many Old Firm supporters that their beloved clubs would be as big as any south of the border if the competition so allowed, this could be the chance to prove this bold claim to be true.

Football season is upon us, and the hottest tickets for the fall certainly reflect that. Just as with any ticketing venture, which teams to invest in are as much of a gamble as hitting the craps table. Some teams, however, are sure bets no matter who they’re playing.

Notre Dame is one such team. Pair the Fighting Irish with the right opposer, and ticket prices skyrocket to a Super Bowl-esque realm. Saturday’s game against Georgia Tech opened Georgia’s season with a complete sell out, though the school had only seen five over the past three seasons. It was the fourth-largest college football game this summer on StubHub.com.

Whether fans are coming out to support the Irish or those waiting to see them get crushed, wherever the team goes, the call for tickets follows. Georgia Tech knew this ahead of time, and in efforts to sell tickets to other match ups, they only sold tickets to the game as part of a three-game ticket package. The “flex packs” allowed buyers to choose three home games to complete the package. Of the 12,000 packs sold, nearly all included a Notre Dame ticket, according to The Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Tickets to see Notre Dame this Saturday against Penn State’s Nittany Lions at Notre Dame Stadium are commanding prices that range from $295 to nearly $3,900 on TicketLiquidator.com. The highest ticket for the season is listed for $3,968 for a game against UCLA Oct. 21 on the site.

College football has its following, and these prices reflect the devotion of fans to the sport. The pricing parallels and even supersedes that of NFL games, which notoriously sell for well above face value.

Penn State has its own devoted following, as the team’s 11-1 record last year has inspired a flood of tickets on the secondary market, with fans and brokers looking to capitalize on the team’s success. According to CentreDaily.com, student season tickets sold out two months earlier this year than last, and public tickets are only available for three of the seven home games.

Last week the first citation for scalping was handed out to a student trying to resell a $166 ticket for $750, CentreDaily.com reported. Last season prompted 45 arrests for scalping. Under state law, reselling a ticket for more than $5 or 25 percent above face value (whichever is higher) is illegal, but buying the ticket is not.

Not all teams have these problems. This Friday’s Green Bay Packers game against the Tennessee Titans is selling tickets for below face value on many sites. TicketKing.com has over 350 listed, and will lose money on the game.

Last year’s season wasn’t super successful for the Packers, but the low pricing of Friday’s game is most likely related to the timing. The game was scheduled for 3 p.m. in the afternoon, not the most convenient for many working fans. However, it also offers fans that normally couldn’t afford to see the team the chance to catch a game.

Vikings sales are slow this season as well, with the area spotlight focused more on the Twins. Taking advantage of the slow start is also a way to get good deals on tickets to see the team. And secondary sites are a great place to find tickets that fans are unloading because of lack of enthusiasm.

 

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