Basecase wrote:That didn't change the objectives of the game though or the rules on the field as such.
It was akin to upping prize money so to speak.
0-0 draws don't sell tickets. Forwards and midfielders sell tickets. Defenders have been increasingly emasculated over the last 20 years in the interests of safety, but if today's footballers wore the same boots and shinguards as those 30-40 years ago they wouldn't be so vulnerable to being injured. The emasculation of defenders was done with the interest of the revenue at hand (it was in the lead-in to the USA World Cup that tackling from behind giving a guaranteed card was introduced, with the aim of selling the sport to the USA with more attacking football and more goals, since the authorities believed for whatever reason that the lack of scoring was the obstacle to breaking through in America), and paved the way for a number of tightenings of the laws on tackling, all of which favour the attacker. It has led to diving being taught on training grounds and given the euphemistic term "simulation", while a player will run into the penalty area, stick his leg out at 45º to brush a defender, throw himself in a crumpled heap on the floor, and the commentators will be screaming "there was contact! There was contact!" as if just touching another player is enough to justify a penalty. Physical defenders are now a thing of the past, players that would get under your skin and intimidate forwards. They can't exist in today's sport, because it's all been tweaked repeatedly to favour the attackers, because they sell tickets. Paulo Montero was probably the last real footballer, with a shout out to Mark van Bommel for at least trying to keep the sport alive.
The offside rule was introduced for a reason, but it has been tweaked many times over the last few years, thanks primarily to people like Ruud van Nistelrooy finding loopholes and playing hard and fast with the limits of the rules.
Another thing on revenue that trumps fair play without changing the rules of football per se... remember South Korea in the 2002 World Cup (several of the matches but especially the Spain one)?