Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Keegan, Dalglish, and all the money in football

Most interested to read this piece by top commentator Chris Deerin for the new-start website Unherd, in which his account of the what-we-might-conceivably-call 'financialisation' of football becomes almost dizzying to people of my vintage who grew up with such a different game (albeit one in which Kevin Keegan seized on all of the limited opportunities then available for players to put money in their purses - see the illustration to your right, one of many lovingly curated at the witty nostalgia website Who Ate All the Pies?)

I'm reminded that when Newcastle United FC floated on the Stock Exchange back in 1997 its share-flogging brochure cited the club's primary activity as (I paraphrase) 'selling the rights to watch football matches.' As long as the customers are there - wherever they are, i.e. whether or not in such numbers through the turnstiles as once was - the money is liable to remain as bizarre as it is.

Such vertiginous sensations about the sums sluicing through the sport were, of course, a point of departure for my Keegan and Dalglish, which is kindly cited halfway down the Deerin piece:

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