Some of the worst people involved in football also happen to be some of the most powerful. Yes, I am talking about the people who own football clubs, the people who can sometimes keep a club afloat but at other times drive a club into the ground. Unfortunately, there are a great number of dodgy owners plaguing the Football League and even the Premier League and these people need to be put in their place. That place is Room 433 – definitely not the footballing equivalent of Room 101 – so here is why those dodgy owners are so very bad.
Whole clubs can potentially be ruined by an owner who does not care, is not up to the job, or is generally not suitable for being an owner of a football club. Football is a busines, yes, but the customers are not like any other customer for any other business. They are lifelong fans who dedicate much of their time and money to following the club so the least they deserve is for the owners to respect them. Just off the top of my head, the owners of clubs like Coventry, Charlton, Blackpool, Blackburn and Bolton have all dragged their fans through the mud in recent years and it is unacceptable.
Broken promises about transfer funds or ticket prices are commonplace amongst these owners and even in the ultra-rich Premier League, this is still the case. Mike Ashley has been in charge of Newcastle United for over a decade and turned the club from regular Champions League contenders to yo-yo-ing between the lower reaches of the Premier League and the Championship. Yet 50,000 fans still will turn up to the game every week regardless of the division despite the horrendous ownership of Ashley, because football is not really a product, it’s an absolute way of life.
The fit and proper ownership tests also are definitely some kind of sick joke. How any of the raft of owners that Leeds have had over the years have passed the test is a mystery and how a family like the Oystons have owned Blackpool football club for so long is also a mystery.
Although, thankfully it seems Blackpool fans may finally be rid of their ownership. The point is that owners have a duty to fans and too often they do not fulfil that duty and the Football League and Premier League need to be more stringent in who they let buy football clubs.
Wel,l that’s all from Room 433 and, in fact, the room is being shut for good as I’m moving on from Ronnie Dog Media. It’s an absolutely fantastic network of sites and writers so please check out as many as you can and it’s been a pleasure to be a part of.