Well, there is always another side to a story. You might want to know that football is the most-watched sport on the planet, by far, and that it makes a pretty substantial contribution to the UK economy. When England were knocked out of the European Championship in 2004 the British Retail Consortium estimated that our retail industries lost around £300 million in sales. The English Premier League clubs paid £647m in taxes last year, and that's going to increase substantially this year.
During the current season the English Premier League will generate revenues totalling €2.5 billion.
My dad was a professional footballer. It was his life as I grew up. Notwithstanding that he played for his country in front of over 100,000 people he was considered (probably rightly) a journeyman goalkeeper. Saturdays were fraught occassions, a bad run of defeats invariably threatened transfer/the sack. We moved often when I was a kid. My dad was good, though - as quoted in the West Ham fanzine fairly recently- "too brave for his own good." In those days he would dive at the attackers feet to deny them the scoring opportunity. I have many memories of mum answering the phone on a Saturday to hear my dad was spending some time in a hospital somewhere around the country. Now in his mid seventies, this former giant of a man will limp along on his shattered legs with me and his grandson to watch our local team (Gillingham) probably get another hiding tomorrow. We'll have a pint and he'll refrain from over critisising the players. After all it's only those with little true knowledge of the game that accuse all professional footballers of being overpaid prima donnas.
Been to Gillingham a few times myself as i live on a little island not too far from there. Support Chelsea,but always look out for the gills result,them being my local team. If only they would stop selling their strickers...oh well.