Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/523/3864
Fans blow whistle on Game 39
FOOTBALL SUPPORTERS from across North-east England met to show their opposition to Game 39, the Premier League's proposal to stage one competitive round of games abroad on an annual basis.
Apart from further alienating loyal supporters and acting as a kind of sporting imperialism, the plan also turns a league system into a lottery, destroying the already frayed integrity of the game.
This regional action meeting, arranged by the Football Supporters' Federation (FSF) and attended by around 60 fans, was one of four across England to formulate clear action in opposition to the proposal. All the region's clubs were represented, along with AFC Wimbledon, fans that know more than most about how football's governing bodies can chase the fast buck, having seen 'their' team franchised to Milton Keynes.
The level of solidarity from fans of clubs in the Football League, and non-league, who have often been sidelined, was massively encouraging. Chaired by Kevin Miles, FSF international co-ordinator, there was a broad range of views on how much impact the FSF's 'No to Gam£ 39' could have, but agreement that the campaign's mission statement is right and action is a must.
Fans of rival teams came to agreement (which you do not see every day) to flyer specifically targeted games. A delegate was selected to attend a meeting with Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore, as one of five regional FSF representatives feeding into the Premier League's consultation process.
There is a danger that supporters, understandably, will feel this proposal is dead in the water and adopt a 'why bother?' attitude. But Scudamore is still selling it as a viable option despite the opposition. Fans need to say enough is enough. We might not be able to stand at games anymore, but we can make a stand here.
In The Socialist 4 March 2008:
Socialist Party NHS campaign
International Women's Day
Environment and socialism
Socialist Party news and analysis
International socialist news and analysis
Workplace news and analysis