Election year for Great Britain and whilst you’d expect all the parties manifestoes to contain their theory on how to rid the world of evil, curb the ever escalating debt of Great Britain and keep that pesky climate under control, what you probably weren’t expecting was Gordon Brown to be staking his claim to save professional football.

The ever-increasing debts of football clubs up and down the country have led to the financial collapse of several clubs, most notably our own. The dire state of the English game has led to a whole host of dodgy and illusive owners taking over clubs and the fans have never been more distanced from their teams than they currently are, despite record attendances and increasing ticket prices.

What does this have to do with the Labour election campaign? Well, quite simply, it’s a vote winner. Football is as much a way of life in England as Sunday service is in middle-America. With so many fan-bases concerned about the way football is being run, a promise to try and resolve these problems could keep the working class people of this great country aligned with Labour. The working-class is where the election campaign will likely be fought and won and since Labours tax and national insurance increases won’t be too pleasing to your average working man, this could be the positive PR labour need.

Politics and football aren’t something I like to see collide as a rule, but for once I find myself in total agreement with Gordon Brown. A Government is supposed to represent the people of the nation and address the concerns they have. As a democracy, our voices should be heard and the issues we have should be dealt with. To be critical of Gordon Brown for doing that would be highly hypocritical of any of us. His plans to make clubs give a 25% stake back to fans, give the FA additional powers to stop dodgy takeovers and remove any vested interests from the boards is what we’ve been screaming for, for a long time now.

If re-elected, it’s rumoured these plans would be forced through within the first year of a new Labour term. The FA and Football League have failed massively when it comes down to the ownership issues of football clubs, but this might just be the answer we were all looking for. Anything that gives football back to the fans will always have my support, and if the other proposals mean the ultimate benefactors of Leeds United are forced out of the woodwork then that’s even better.

Of course, there’s bound to be a lot of cynicism aimed in Gordon Brown’s direction when these plans are officially unveiled. A lot of fans won’t like the Government interfering with football, whilst bitter, twisted journalists will predictably right this off as a vote-winning sideshow that avoids the real concerns of the nation. This kind of stuff is what politics is all about, but in Gordon Brown’s defence, he really is addressing (one of) the concerns of your average working man and if that wins him a few votes then so be it. He is running for Prime Minister after all… That’s kind of the idea.

28 Responses

  1. Kernow

    You can write this off as something to do with votes, but the fact is there is a pretty strong football tradition within the Labour Party – OK Brown supports a Scottish team so maybe that doesn’t count ; ) and key figures do support teams and watch games. Even the ever popular Alistair Campbell is a massive Burnley fan. Can’t see Cameron and Osborne discussing the West Ham Arsenal game…

    • Adrian Butterworth

      I’ve been a Leeds fan all my life, and until Bates shut the East Stand upper was a season ticket holder following Leeds home and away and, into Europe. One thing I would not do for my club however would be to vote for this vile fascist left wing mob who with its talentless, insipid leader have done their best (and just about succeeded)to ruin this once great country. As a working man (not a Tory before the sneering tree huggers kick off!!), I pray relentlessly that we don’t get a hung parliament or even worse, five more years of this evil shower…the consequences for the hard working of us are unthinkable. Scratching Shed…please Keep politics away from football and especially my beloved Leeds United. Thanks in advance.

      • TSS

        Would agree with the below in that your comments are a little over the top and Brown has had a bit of a rough deal so far. His lack of charisma won’t help his popularity and the chances of him actually getting elected won’t be altered by the above.

        I chose to write the above simply because it does matter and I think now is the time for politicians to start looking at the problems in football and address them. Whether that’s Brown, Cameron or the other bloke (Clegg?) it doesn’t really matter, but it is a key issue to many people in this country and its nice to see someone realising that.

      • Craig

        I think your post is fair comment on an issue that affects our club even though I also agree that there are far more important issues in politics and global finance.

        For me, the saddest truth revealed here is the way it illustrates the inexorable slide toward presidential politics that has so marred our country in the last decade or so. Are we really to believe that Gordon Brown manages to fit designing a new strategy for club football into his schedule whilst his ministers and civil servants twiddle their thumbs? If he is, he shouldn’t be!

        Of course, all this backfires on Gordon since the more he is presented as ‘being in complete charge’ the greater the dissatisfaction with HIM when anything goes wrong.

      • TSS

        The ideas probably come from his Sports Minister (Gerry Sutcliffe) in fairness. It’s his job to deal with things like this I guess, so at least it shows our tax monies are being put to some use (other than bailing out banks)

  2. JR

    Adrian, “vile fascist left wing mob”? That’s a little melodramatic buddy. I know you don’t literally mean you think the government is *trying* to ruin the country, but try to look at what’s happened (especially since Brown has taken over) in context.

    The country, nay, the Western world has been hit by a crippling economic collapse. This wasn’t planned. It’s possibly the single largest crisis any leader of the UK has had to face since the second world war. However poor Brown may be as a leader (he lacks more than a little charisma..), nobody can deny that the man is a genius when it comes to finances. When he was chancellor nobody could touch him. I don’t know about you, but somebody who’s exemplary when it comes to finance being in charge of the country in the midst of an economic crisis seems fairly straight forward, no?

    “This once great country”?! It scares me when people say things like this. It’s like looking at Leeds and saying “This once great club.” Don’t live in the past. Things change, for better or worse! Get behind your club/ team.

    As for the actual post, I agree, the government should represent the views and interests of the people. However, despite being a die-hard Leeds fan though, I find it sad that “one of the greater interests” of our society is a ball game when you consider how much evil is going on in the world and in our country.

    • TSS

      Part of being a PM is that you have to deal with the internal as well as external matters. I think Britain has always done more than it’s fair share globally and should always continue to do so, but at the same time we should look after our own. Whether that be money, health, education or sport. They’re all a part of our lives, and something the Government should be looking to maintain, improve and protect.

    • Kernow

      Seems like there are a lot of people who have very short memories – not just talking about the last decade or so of record growth, but the last time the Tories were in we had 3 1/2 million on the dole, the pits were decimated, the steel industry, car makers, while went went through two really serious recessions. I’ll agree Gordon Brown isn’t the most charismatic leader in the world, but at a time when many of us feared for our jobs, I certainly think he’s a safe pair of hands.

  3. Ken B

    hmm, 13 years as chancellor and PM during which football (and the country) has been wrecked by selling out to any ‘rich’ (really meaning access to credit) foreigner that came along, yes maybe Brown is the man to put it all right and deliver the 92 clubs back to the workers but I wouldn’t bet on it if I were you.

    Lets just beat Swindon and get a step closer to where we ought to be

  4. TheReaper08

    I have been away for a few days and come back and it’s question time with TSS as Dimbleby !

    For what it’s worth my two penneth is that generally they are all as bad as each other. That is except for the Tory’s who appear to have no substance, no policies, a bloke in charge who would sell his Mum if he thought it might win him a vote, oh and a proper charlie as Chancellor who looks totally out of his depth a submarine couldn’t save him.

    As for Swindon, fingers crossed as being a resident of the town I simply can’t take a home and away lost against them.

    • TSS

      Welcome back Reaper. We’ll have less of the Dimbleby comparisons. I was simply pointing out how the FA and FL have failed miserably to the point where politicans are feeling the need to get involved – and rightly so in my opinion.

      Quietly confident ahead of Swindon. Massive improvement last week and ultimately unlucky.

      • TSS

        Yeah, we were never gonna score. But then, it never looked like they were either.

      • Craig

        True – but Tranmere managed it 3 times last night! What a strange game!

  5. timm

    If Brown wants to show he gives a damn about football he should start by asking the turkish (small t because they’re not worth a big one) prime minister what he intends to do about that murdering bastard in istanbul who’s still not been brought to justice? Maybe this is something we can get Mr Bates to take up?

    • TSS

      Seconded. Although I know our local MP has been appealing for pressure to be put on Turkey to deliver justice.

  6. Matt bb

    It is a real tragedy the lack of protection football supporters get abroad, italian fixtures seem to regularly see stabbings, and of course closer to our hearts what happened in istanbul, perhaps the website needs to invite its contributors to start a petition for downing street to lobby the eu on the matter.. A lot of leeds supporters together on this could be very powerful..

  7. Chareose

    We need a revolution…. The status quo is that any government in the current political system has no real control or power. 70% of the government are still there regardless of what puppet party you vote in or out. These are the same people who have been mismanaging our country for decades = Civil servants, the permanent secretary of state etc…. Our civil service is an antique and employ’s thousands of people for the sake of it. Get rid of them and treat it like a business. We need to completely change the political system, regulate the media ( who have helped cause political correctness). When was the last time you heard a politician be honest ??? Really say what they thought rather than sit on the fence ? They cant afford to because the media would rip them to shreds…

    So complete political revamp, find a different solution to benefits (paying for millions of lazy bastards to sit on their asses all day, tackle single mothers, deal with the 7 billion we lose every year on fraud. Bring back chain gangs (we cant afford to pay for prisoners to sit on their asses either). Start investing in british science and engineering and subsidise the manufacturing industry….. And oh year sort footbal ownership out !!!! there…… political rant over

  8. Matt Buckingham

    I can’t believe that some people still think that Brown is a competent leader. This move will all be about votes, but like everything else he has ever done, it will end up in complete failure. It is what he does. The first thing he did when winning power was to deregulate the financial industry. The same rules that were put in place after the great depression.
    The rest of the world had a recession in 2002, not us because Gormless encouraged British credit card debt to become three quarters of all European CC debt. So the economy boomed whilst we all went into debt.
    Then he let all the foreign workers in, nailing the British workers wages to the floor. He then borrowed on top of the boom in 2005 & then when it went wrong he began printing money. He’s gone from tax & spend, to tax borrow & spend, to tax, borrow & print money & spend. Brown makes Ridsdale look prudent. I thought Leeds fans would know more than the average football fan about simple economics. You cannot spend more than you earn.Period. MOT

  9. Mike

    Never mind all the politics Millwall are getting beat and Norwich are getting hammered

    hopefully 45 mins its game on

  10. Mikelufc

    Why. Not the poisoned dwarf Could he do worse than Mr Inept?
    I don’t think so.

  11. Matt bb

    I think he is actually, and i was being sarcastic, we need to move forwards if we replace our manager. I think its too late for a new guy to make an impact, but i do finally think that simon’s lost the plot, out thought by danny wilson, leeds are at risk of relegation to league two, as we wont get promoted now, and cant beat any third division teams… We were so close this time as well. My vote is for paul jewell, or gus poyet… With dennis as his assistant.

  12. Will

    “…now is the time for politicians to start looking at the problems in football and address them.”


    All I can say is that you really must be punch drunk from the performances of “Grayson’s Gutless Gang” to even think that
    a politican is capable of addressing any problem! ;-)

    You want a Labour govt, who have truly f***ed our economy – and remember, all key statistics are now worse than 1997 – to get involved with deciding how football should be strcutured (in a blatant piece of electioneering)?

    You say the plan is for fans to be “given” a 25% stake in a club?

    How would this transfer of a stake to the fans work other than by theft from the current owners if the 25% do not have the cash to buy that stake at fair value?

    Theft is never right, though I understand that most British (working class) folks believe the State’s role is to steal from Peter to pay (them) Paul.

    If you want to start a club based on fan ownership, then you are free to start this going. What is stopping you?

    If you want to gather a financially backed group of fans to take over a club, then you are free to do so. What is stopping you?

    Why not create a (fans) club at the beginning of its history that people 100 years from now will look back on with a sense of achievement should it be succssful, rather than demand that an already existing 100 year old club is *forced* to give you a piece of its cake.

    • TSS

      The 25% would be sold to fans through shares in the club, not just given, so the club wouldn’t lose out because of it.

      Again, I aren’t saying people should vote for Labour or that Gordon Brown’s got it right. What I am saying is that it’s nice to see the politicians taking notice of the dire state football is in.

  13. Matt bb

    Key problem yesterday for me was again our inability to concentrate, and just how exposed we were without kisnorbo. Why not try out doyle alongside collins? Hughes too had a bit of a stinker, if parker’s fit couldnt he play right back, he’d offer something extra?


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