By Gerardo Lara – FLAF Americas
It is a well-founded hatred with well-founded arguments. Remember how we waited for the weekend as a kind of ritual, after spending the week being exploited in each of our jobs, to be able to go to a match, to the stadium on a Saturday or Sunday, to see the team and colours that we love? That small pleasure that we looked forward to; big business has stolen it from us and turned football into another impersonal consumer product.
As workers we produce and we generate surplus value [profit] that the oligarchs who own the capitalist system accumulate. In relation to the sport that we are most passionate about, we consume and adapt to what the ruling system dictates. In other words, we buy the shit that the clubs order from the far-east for pennies [made by workers on slave wages] and sell on to us at exorbitant prices.
The football leagues – with or without fans on the terraces and in the stands – are not going to stop. If money today is not enough to satisfy our basic needs, it is because of the governments that submitted to capital, and our football is already part of it.
We are left out of the terracess, the working class, relegated to our homes to watch it on TV. That’s if they have the financial resources to hire cable operators and satellite services.
Those who manage every aspect of our daily lives are private entities whose sole objective is the accumulation of profits, a parasite that has infected all nations and will not allow them to advance. Nations and governments across the globe are condemned to become the generation of debts and request loans from international financial entities, which forces them to take actions such as budget cuts that directly impact the future of a nation and its people.
The football federations talk sanctimoniously about sanctions and financial ”fair play” while at the same time we can see – in leagues like the Spanish ‘La Liga’ – clubs generate incomes of up to 1,060 million euros and of that total, 112.5 million euros is for one person only. This is true in the case of Barca and its tax-avoiding, star player, Lionel Messi. It is obscene.
Our task must be to end the vices of the capitalist system that are also manifested in football. Capitalism has turned clubs that used to represent a community into financial figures on a spreadsheet; the players into corporate ‘role models’ for what they do outside and not on the pitch. They have created a gap that separates the working class more and more from the sport that it believed belonged to it. Football belongs to the people – we must break with the current model and recreate OUR game as it was meant to be.