the real fa cup

Going Cold Turkey

These are the views of Damon and do not necessarily reflect those of therealfacup

Well, I’m sure it’s all been said, so I don’t think I’m going to add much to the party but the EPPP storm has broken me. For years now I’ve been dismissive of professional football and condescending towards those who consume it voraciously. I’m sure that’s all been very tedious for you. Sorry. At the same time I’ve always kept my eye in but the dissatisfaction levels have been increasing and, now, I’ve had enough.

You can read elsewhere what this means to people and to the game as a whole, 200% says this and this and The Two Unfortunates say this. All of those make salient points with which I agree so there is little point in me regurgitating. So, rather than that, I’m going to tell you what I’m doing about it. It will have little impact, individually, and might appear, on the surface, to be overtly reactionary, painfully well-meaning, buttock-clenchingly twee and, well, all slightly childish. Don’t care.  Nurrrh!  I’m not only throwing my toys out of the pram, I’m taking the pram down the tip.  The Premier League and the Football League are dead to me. Yes, I know, all a bit 6th form and idealistic.

You’ll not see me at a professional football match in England ever again.  Sky Sports is eight years dead anyway but now for the rest.  No more MOTD on iPlayer (haven’t watched live for several years anyway), Hansen & The Chipmunks are unwatchable so the availability of >ffwd> on iPlayer is essential. My Twitter feed has been purged of ‘official’ professional football (even TWTD!), my bookmarks now have a hole where once there was a direct link to the BBC football page, iTunes is several podcasts lighter – gone is Football Weekly (I’ll miss you Barry, I’ll miss you Jimbo), gone is The Game (I’ll not miss Marcotti) – and sport sections of newspapers are to be instantly binned.  Basically, I am opting out. I am refusing to purchase that which either funds or perpetuates the professional game.

As you can see from the above links, blogs remain. Well, I’m not going to cut off my nose to spite professional football, these people may well be dealers of the drug but they don’t …  aaahrrghhh, I’m not justifying my blog reading to you, it’s flimsy and selective but these guys write well, I trust their views, I trust them to say it how it is, I trust them to alert me if there’s anything worth knowing and they don’t directly put money in football’s pocket – as far as I’m aware.

Aside from them, from now on, it’s non-league all the way. To be brutally honest, the FA’s role in this is, frankly, no better and I was very close to ditching the Old Jug too. We’ll see about that. “It’ll never last”, I hear the handful of remaining readers cry.  Yes, you might be right but why would I need to feed these ludicrants when I have the above blogs, I have the non league bits of Two Footed Tackle, I have EFW, I have The Ball Is Round, Modus Hopper Random, The Cold End, Beat The First Man, AiTinpot (or is it AiTumour today?) and many, many more.

The EPL has pinched a penny too many, the FL has retained a vertebrae too few. And because of that, I want nothing more to do with them. *Sulk*. *Waaaahhhh*. Between them they have killed or surrendered too much. Greed is now all encompassing, it’s not even subtle anymore. They rely on our addiction to keep getting away with chipping away at our Saturday. Or Sunday afternoon, or Monday evening …

The one bright spot in this is my team’s ‘NO’ vote against EPPP. Yes, who’d have thought? Marcus Evans does the right thing for once. Shame it’s the last thing I will consciously see him do. I don’t expect anyone to follow me but it would be nice. Imagine … if you removed yourself from the equation and you removed your financial support. If you removed your financial support the game would lose its funding, if the game lost it’s funding maybe the clubs would start doing stuff to get you and that funding back. Or they would die. That will, of course, never happen, it’s too far gone. That being the case, I want nothing more to do with it.


This is going to be hard. Odds on, I’ll not see out the weekend without a little toke on something.

Previous things that have got up our goats:
Hypocrisy Blog
Is It All Over
Familus Horribilus
Exclusively On ITV
FA Cup Found: Alive & Well
FFS Use Your Imagination

  1. As someone who focuses on the Bundesliga and non league football, I have found it very hard to sustain an interest in English pro football, especially after handing in my season ticket.The EPPP has left me feeling very sad about the direction of English football and while I’m not about to boycott it, I can’t see my interest in the the professional game rekindling anytime soon. Besides, I’m having so much fun with other leagues.

  2. Blub.

  3. I’ve done likewise – my blog and Twitter feeds will feature no more mentions of the Premier League other than to criticise their financial bullying. The time has come to say “enough is enough”.

    • Damon Threadgold

      Can we keep it up? Football club owners know they have us over a barrel, will we be able to sustain the aversion to something so ingrained in our psyche?

  4. It’s sad that it has come to this, Damon, but I can understan your reasoning. I’ve been toying with this kind of thinking for a while now myself. I’m not going to follow your lead just yet – Kenny Jackett still gives me some hope for the future. But I wish you well. Just don’t throw the writing out with the bathwater.

  5. As a fan of a professional non-league club where does this leave me?

    In all seriousness, football is heading towards a dark place in this country. Why should Abu Dhabi United Group keep their £200m investment in Manchester? Eventually they’ll uproot them and we’ll see a bizarre international league purely for the television. Money skews the game at all levels now, it needs sorting.

    • Damon Threadgold

      A fair point. As with many things, not black and white. I’m sure I’ll come across many shades of grey!

  6. Damon,

    Agree with much of what you say here. It won’t surprise you to hear that I have shunned the professional game for a number of years now – ROI just doesn’t stack up.

    As the Pigeon Stands is south London focused (regardless of league or non league team) James and I often talk about having to do the league clubs being more like a chore. As we don’t focus so much on the game itself we find ourselves hard pressed to say much in blog pieces about league clubs (AFC Wimbledon aside – and only because they play at the Kingsmeadow and the fabulous Terry’s badges turns up for the games). Surely this shows just how bland the experience is compared to most non league visits.

  7. Oooh, ‘ark at me getting name checked and everything.

    As my Twitter explosion may have indicated, it’s a load of old Horlicks, and Saturday afternoon football has gone the same way as Saturday night TV in that is it is more X-Factor rather than Two Ronnies.

    The worm may not have turned, it may never never turn. But we all do what we think is best.

  8. Excellent sentiments all round. On examining my own football consumption, I concluded I am largely professional football free already, but I do confess to watching Ipswich if they are ever on terrestrial, and will probably see the odd game if I happen to turn out for the supporters team (for which I am largely too old and rotund now). Damon is largely to blame for my non league conversion, and I feel all the more smug and superior for it- as well as more contented generally!

    The malaise reaches all the way down to the Blue Square, where my local boys (Bath) simply don’t have funds to compete and are looking at a swift return to the lower reaches despite having tried very hard to play some decent stuff. Might do a piece on that some time…

    Anyway- it seems to me that your stance is going to be a bit like vegetarianism Damon. Very commendable and in principle something I agree entirely with. But tricky to maintain when faced with a bacon sarnie in cheap white supermarket bread.

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