Article by Sam Beesley
Some people seem to think football is just 11 men trying to kick a ball past another 11 men. After hearing such a dumb, ignorant viewpoint I decided to do a little research into how football affects more than just those 22 men on the field of play and what it does to the people involved with it. I based my research around the last weekend of premiership football before the international break, that weekend being October 6/7.
The premiership alone had a total of 347,236 fans around the grounds. With the biggest crowd being at St James park (52,203) which is more than the population of Lichtenstein (36,476). So take the whole population of Liechtenstein and send them home pissed off/annoyed due to what they saw on the pitch, as United dominated and walked away with a pretty 3-0 away win, which would have left the toon army annoyed after such good form. With this loyal following across the premiership you have the regular purchases for a football match (beer/food) which keeps business's alive, around half of the amount who go to football have a beer as well so at £3.50 a pint the premiership football is throwing a big £607,663 back in the economy from having 1 pint alone, that's without the other beers that will be consumed and then there's the food! So is football really just a game or is it a big part of this nations economy, remember the above figure is only a pint for half the premiership following, that's excluding all the other leagues! On top of the spending from the fans you have the jobs that are created from the game day this being people like caterers, stewards and programme sellers. I remember hearing out roar on the news when a factory shut and 300 people lost there jobs. 1 big club alone probably employ that many people on a Saturday so once again I ask the question is it just a game?
So that's the premier league covered then, well almost. You also have the worldwide TV audience that craves a Sunday afternoon thriller to lighten up there weekend. On Sunday 7th October Newcastle hosted Man Utd. and was received sky sports 1 highest viewing figures of the weekend which amassed to over 1.7 million across the UK Then there is me watching it getting angry about how Newcastle could not continue there form, I support Pompey myself and get angry at a game that carries little interest to me. So it only affects those 22 on the pitch right?
Then there is the emotional side to the beautiful game, it can never be 100% happy for 90 minutes if your loyal to your side. I cant sleep after a midweek game if Pompey win due to the general buzz it gives me, that might just be because a Pompey win is rare but still I love it! Football is a magic little thing , it has the ability to take a man from pure delight to shedding a tear in the space of a second. Going to a big game is just a 90 minute emotional roller-coaster, what you go through in the stands is hard to explain unless you go through it. When the news came out in October 2010 that Pompey were near enough liquidated I shed a little tear, probably shouldn't admit it but it proves the point that its more than just a game, you don't shed a tear when you loose your scrabble board do you? Saturday isn't Saturday its football day which means your family are checking the results to find out what mood your coming home in, bet my mum wishes I was a united fan! Your football often sums up the sort of person you are. Arrogant people usually take a big side on as they cant deal with being second best and like being hated on for it, then you have the loyal people who back there local side as they can take defeat and usually control there emotions a bit better, football isn't just a game its psychological in fact it can be anything, football is my life. I play it all weekend and watch it and write about it when I'm not playing.
So is it really just 22 men trying to kick a ball past each other? Or is it 22 men who are followed and backed by thousands who live for it and want nothing more than success for that team and will celebrate it by boosting the economy with a beer or 2, who cares if we take it to seriously, its what we live for, take Pompey away and your taking my weekend away. Its not just a game, its a way of life