High time to kick out big business

PUBLISHED: 12:23 05 January 2007 | UPDATED: 22:28 28 May 2010

SPORTS fans, it is time for action. The time-honoured view of sport for all is under threat and we have to do something before it is stolen from us. Yes, slowly and under the cover of darkness, sport is being taken from us and all in the name of .....

SPORTS fans, it is time for action. The time-honoured view of 'sport for all' is under threat and we have to do something before it is stolen from us.

Yes, slowly and under the cover of darkness, sport is being taken from us and all in the name of ..... 'business'.

Those money-loving men and women in suits are flashing their cash, buying sport and then re-selling it to us at ever-increasing mark-ups.

'Business' is affecting every level of sport and although it is particularly bad in football, of course, it is starting to infect everything from darts to motor racing.

I am overcome with the urge to throw a hefty personal organiser at anyone who says: "It is the way things are nowadays. Sport is a business."

No it isn't. And it should never be a 'business'.

The notion that sport is some kind of corporate entity that can and should be owned by wealthy men and women in suits goes against every value that sport stands for.

Sport, at every level, should be for all. However, slowly but surely, it is a pursuit enjoyed only by the privileged.

From the extortionate price of tickets to television rights and the loss of large parts of stadia to corporate 'guests', more and more people are becoming excluded from watching sport, particularly at the highest level.

However, the influence of money is also starting to take effect at lower levels - just ask any Ridgeons League manager about player transfers.

And where did the idea that business people know best come from anyway? It is business that resulted in the latest massive rise in train fares: It is business that forces fuel bills through the roof every year: It is business that brought Andriy Shevchenko to Chelsea. It is business that pushed Alan Pardew out of West Ham United when the problems lay with the lazy, overpaid, prima donnas on the pitch.

Having said all that, if Sky Sports would like to offer me a job I would be delighted to take it.

Mark Berry


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