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Give Us Back Our Game

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The “Give Us Back Our Game” initiative started in the UK in 2010 and was set up to stimulate the need for children to have more autonomy in the game that they play.

Football has often become very managed, coached and directed. The learning elements that children would normally discover as a matter of course, by being involved, sharing the experience and playing with their peers are often being either spoon fed to them by, or in worst case scenarios “force fed” to them during a time when all children want to do is play.

The idea of the “Give Us Back Our Game” initiative was to take the game back out of the hands of the adults, the coaching from the touchline, the refereeing, the bad example support that is easy to be dragged into as a parent or coach at an emotional moment. Children need the opportunity to play their game, their way.

It correlates with the corporatism of the modern game and the incredible sums of money that can be made at the top end of  the game at the expense of the grass roots.

The phrase “Give Us Back Our Game” also echoes with adults throughout the world who have seen the football industry in their lifetime change from an innocent sport where heroes were created for their passion and love of the game, into full time professional athletes, created as products of corporate Academies, to be sold for mega bucks both through transfers and marketing rights.

Where once supporters created clubs by a part of a pure love of the game, with a community spirit, we have at the top end of the game (the cynics would say) seen a U-turn on the relationship between fans and their clubs, where there is a growing detachment between the club and their fans and it seems the priority is to make fans into consumers before recognizing these are the very people that created the club in the first place.

The incorporation of many of today’s football clubs has turned them into financial monsters that need feeding. Many supporters have felt tricked into this, as player wages rise, football clubs build ever more expensive stadiums that they need to fill, ticket prices have for many become golden tickets for special occasions and supporters are reduced to watching their teams on TV.

 

 

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