Poor Sales for Olympic Football…Go Figure.

It would appear that Olympic bods are a little concerned about the state of ticket sales for their under 23 knock about football tournament. The Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, better known for hosting 70,000+ fans cheering on fifteen gents in red, currently looks set to welcome around a mere 15,000 people to watch the so called ‘TeamGB’ join other youth teams from around the world in a contest for the 7th most significant tournament in world football. Why then is this leg of the Olympics, part of what is usually sold as the greatest show on earth, failing to whip up the sort of fervour that competitive sporting fixtures usually invite when hosted in Cardiff city centre?

From a Welsh perspective, attention would well be drawn to the most recent press conference regarding the forthcoming tournament. Plenty has been written over the lack of a Welsh FA endorsement for the TeamGB concept, and there is little point wading through all of that once more. But if anyone wanted an insight as to why Welsh fans are not flocking to snap up their taste of the Olympics, look no further at the figures who made up the press conference panel. At one end, we have the manager of the England Women’s team, Hope Powell, next to her, occasional England Men’s team manager and former England international Stuart Pearce, and then over to the other side could be found Clive Woodward, former England rugby international and manager of the winning English Rugby World Cup squad. So, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland, these are the figures spearheading your campaign, do you feel the pride in your English, English, English, oh so very English management team, well, do you? Not even an attempt of tokenism towards the non English elements of this TeamGB farce, a sentiment not helped by manager Pearce asserting that he would have no qualms selecting an all English first XI (though he stressed the same for an all Welsh XI, though that would require having enough of said nationality to put out that many players…we will wait and see on that one).

TeamGB was a pandering to England’s love of their beautiful game, and in it the authorities in London saw a chance to soften up those noisy ‘regions’ of Britain who felt they were being shafted financially in order to give London yet another advertising boost in front of the world for a few weeks. Well London, we are not buying the trade off, and we are not buying the tickets.

Couple that with the fact that the whole concept of football being played out in the Olympics is a farce in itself – remember everyone, if it’s in the Olympics, then the Olympics has to be the pinnacle of that sport’s ambition. Well, I don’t see the football World Cup being downgraded, so Cardiff and Hamden get the pleasure of hosting a second rate tournament which should not even be in the Olympics, which barely represents them, as part of a pat on the head for not making too much noise about being sold out so that the English capital can enjoy another day in the sun. Thanks London Olympic Committee, but no thanks.

TeamGB football has been a misguided concept from day 1, while dropping some events outside of London (hello London Olympic Committee, you do realise that you are shipping off parts of the Olympics to a different country yes? Was that in the French plan, to give Belgium some long distance track events?) is a nonsense. Wales will not be sold on the idea, and Wales will not be sold out for some colourful rings. Sadly, we don’t seem to have much choice about it, apart from not turning up to see any of the meaningless matches, and that, for us, will be exactly what we will do.

Oh, and when you do drop into Cardiff London Olympic Games, clean up after yourselves, London is a filthy little place – don’t treat Cardiff as if it was one of suburbs…which of course, is exactly what you are doing.

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    • Miles
    • May 8th, 2012

    I’d love to fart on Seb Coe’s face.

    I can’t wait for the Olympics! Missiles on rooftops, the biggest naval deployment since the Falklands, just £10 for a mug with TeamGB printed on, the dirt cheap London accommodation costs, McDonalds and Coke endorsing the event, corporate chief execs lunching on £70 fillet steak with £200 bottles of red wine, the movement restrictions around London and the closing of certain bus lanes to provide exclusive routes for Olympic ‘officials’, the highly efficient ticketing process which should serve as a model for years to come, the original budget of £2.4 billion that’s now reached a creditable £11 billion of public money, the artistic genius of the London2012 logo, the multimillion pound brand new BBC studio on top of flats that prospective residents were told was not deemed safe to live in, the hoard of tv adverts which manage to associate their products with the performance of athletes, the hundreds of million pound contracts handed out to private security firms, the further enrichment of G4S taking their total revenue to £7.5 billion, the £5.90 for a hot dog and the £15 for a fruit platter, the ban on all credit/debit card suppliers apart from VISA and the ban on bottled water at the gates only to buy them at £1.60 per bottle inside, and of course, London, London, LONDON, LONDON!!!!! WE ALL LOVE LONDON!!!

    • Wow Miles, that sounded like you have had that building up inside of you for quite some time! Of course, we agree with every sentiment, apart from the first one, only in that such action would require far too close a proximity to Seb Coe’s face to be worth the risk.

      This has certainly descended into one of the greatest commercial endeavors undertaken in British ‘sporting’ history, and the Olympics. One wonders what the point of all this is now – perhaps the natural evolution would be for athletes to compete in costumes representative of the major sponsors – it’s not that far away from such ludicrous commercialism.

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