Posts Tagged ‘football’

Protest of the day

Posted: 9 February 2016 in Uncategorized
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British football (i.e., soccer) fans are plotting a mass stadium walkout in protest over rising ticket prices.

The decision by around 10,000 fans to stage a 77th-minute walkout of the Liverpool-Sunderland game was the clearest indication yet that vast numbers of supporters have been driven to breaking point over the failure of teams to share some of their new £8.3 billion television contract, a windfall set to widen the gulf between those within the game and those who pay to follow it.

The protest on Saturday forced Liverpool’s owners to revisit their pricing policy for next season and came in the same week as an online backlash forced Arsenal to scrap a season-ticket surcharge, both of which emboldened campaigners against the rising cost of attending matches to crank up the pressure on other clubs.

A meeting of supporters groups was planned last night for the end of this week or the beginning of next week at which a number of options will be discussed, one being the viability of a mass walkout.

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It may be a changing of the seasons in big-time college athletics—from football to basketball—but, according to Will Hobson and Steven Rich, the basic business model remains the same:

Since 2004, many athletic directors have seen their pay soar and have gone on hiring sprees, surrounding themselves with well-paid executives and small armies of support staffs to help their premier teams — primarily football — recruit, train and plan for games. . .

“We’ve gotten so complex . . . we need people with levels of expertise in a whole myriad of areas that we didn’t need years ago,” said Cindy Hartmann, who makes $225,000 as Florida State University’s Deputy Athletics Director for Administration, a job created in 2014.

“We’re responding to the competitive demands of the market,” Hartmann said. “We’re no different than any other corporation that wants its business to be successful.”

That business, however, depends on unpaid labor. To people who have worked for years to expand benefits for football and men’s basketball players, surging administrative pay exposes the fallacy of the NCAA’s argument that most big college athletic departments can’t afford to pay players.

“There’s just this overwhelming force of greed we’re up against,” said Ramogi Huma, president and founder of the National College Players Association. “It’s clear NCAA sports are financially rich but morally bankrupt.”

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