01 Jun Euro 16
The first football match I went to was with my Dad and a friends son, I was 8 and Pops took a beer crate, so I was able to see the game. It was at Portman Road. I remember going to Harrogate to see family friends and the youngest John was hellbent on being a Footballer, and he did, rather successfully actually, the family were the Scales’s. Its been wonderful over the years to watch him success. From Wimbledon, Blackburn, and Liverpool. So from my very early memories, Sport was in my world.
Football began in 1863 here in England, so it spans over 100 years of history, and when rugby football and association football branched off, it formed the Football Association becoming the sport’s first governing body.
Naturally football has evolved and changed. But during the last 100 years, there have never been more changes than over the past 20 years or so.
Players have to be way fitter as they have to cover more than 50% more distance than players had to in the late 1960’s. Not only do players today have to run more, but they also have to do so at far greater speeds. The expectancy for sprints and high intensity activities performed has nearly doubled since 2002. During a 90 minute football game, the ball is in play and live almost 15 minutes more than in 1990. So not only do players have to be fitter in terms of endurance, it requires more agility and greater mental concentration to succeed at the highest level.
And then there is the money….
Messi, Ronaldo and Rooney’s wages amount to over £10m each, there is a school of thought that wonders what happens when players become bigger than than the Sport. It is sad to hear when friends in Suffolk who want to take their children to Portman or Carrow Road, to watch a game, simply cannot afford to go on a family day out.
With money comes Branding and Footballers are often as much Fashion Icons as Sportmen. With many owning perfume, underwear and clothing ranges, they are perceived as cool and aspirational.
With Euro 16 around the corner, employers are trying to work out how to keep the workforce from ‘sickies’ many are showing the games at work to ensure staff come in! And yes as there is a buzz, as we always do we hope, pray England will go the distance, but I often wonder with so much money on the pitch how we don’t perform better as a team. I am sure there are a myriad of answers to that one.
But heh, lets get behind them and keep everything crossed it not a well dressed disaster!