Football, also known as Soccer, is the most popular sport in the world. It has topped the list of world’s most popular sports. But for the last few days there have been constant debates on its popularity graph, especially in the United Kingdom. If you are a football lover you must be aware of the fact that modern football was invented in England and the UK is considered its creator. This is another reason for its mass popularity in the United Kingdom which people are now suspicious of. Yes, the news has been spreading that football is losing popularity in the UK, its origin country. We have to see if this news is right or just a false rumor. So in this article we will tell you if football is losing popularity in the UK but to find out you will have to read till last.
Is Football Losing Popularity in The UK?
Football, which is also known as association football and soccer, has a separate fan base in the United States and United Kingdom. The game of football you see today originated in England and its new set of rules was codified there in 1967. The football association was also founded in England in 1963. Basically, you can call England the creator and dominator of football. Its English football league is also the first professional football league. Several English players are designated as the greatest footballers of all time. Now, I don’t think anything else is needed to justify why football is the most popular sport in the world as well as the UK.
But the case seems to change as a rumor is spreading about its decreasing popularity in the country. It has to be debatable because football is considered the national sport in England and governed by the Football Association which makes millions of pounds every year. Most of its income comes through sponsorship, broadcasting rights and licensing. But its expenditure is also very comparative though most of them consist of investments.
Regardless of England being the originator country and founder state of FA, it has seen a decline in the popularity of football. Football has experienced a slight decline in terms of popularity in the UK which has been reflected in some data regarding the number of people participating in the sport in the nation. The same thing was also seen in the number of adults participating in football in Scotland. Gladly, there has been no change in the popularity of the sport in Wales where it is the most popular sport among school kids. The situation of the sport is the same as Wales in England.
If we talk about the professional level of football, it has been structured in several leagues in the United Kingdom including the English Premier league. The Premier League is the leading among all of the existing leagues in Europe not just in terms of popularity but also the highest revenue and brand value world wide. The average attendance at premier league games is estimated at 29,821 while the average attendance at the game football league championship was ranked second highest of the football leagues in the United Kingdom with 14,949 attendants at the game.
Why is Football Seeing a Decline in Its Popularity in The UK?
Everything happens as a result of something. In other words, everything has some reasons behind it. Nothing happens itself. Similarly, there are some factors that led to a rapid decline in the popularity of football.
1. Lack of Quality Facility and Playing Surfaces
A very significant reason behind the declining popularity of football in the UK especially is the lack of quality facilities and playing surfaces.
11-a-side football has been experiencing a demise of popularity for the last few years. The low quality of council owned pitches are one of the major factors leading to the decline in its popularity. Due to the government funding these are not enjoyable to play on because of which many people prefer not playing the sport instead of playing at this unenjoyable surface.
Throughout winter, the games have to experience postponement due to adverse weather conditions. Even professional leagues face the same problem. Sometimes situations get so worse that at the slightest rainfall, matches see postponements.
2. A Technology Dominated Generation
As digital devices have become more prominent, football has shifted from offline to online. Football domination has increased 10 folds in social media in the last ten years. A lot of money has been invested in TV ads and broadcasting of football instead of improving the actual game position. It made everyone from any corner of the world able to enjoy watching football games live including FIFA World Cup.
In their busy lives, people are more likely to take advantage of digital facilities. They prefer watching football sitting on the sofa at home instead of going out in a stadium to watch a football match and spending the whole weekend there. They want their comfort along with entertainment, instead of going outside they sit at home comfortably and watch several matches in a click. They can skip the unwanted part in just a click of a button and put several quick games on TV.
But honestly, there is nothing wrong in it as people just don’t have football to love but also have their families and responsibilities. The sad reality is that there isn’t much interest left in people. Accept it or not, with a lack of funding in the grassroot level facilities and football playing necessities, it is becoming more and more unplayable. It makes people go watch it on tv instead of playing outside.
Football Loses Popularity in United States
Knock! Knock! What is this? Is it true? Yes, football is not losing popularity only in the United Kingdom but also in the United States. According to Forbes, a decline has been showing in the popularity of football in the United States too although the popularity of the National football league has continued. In 2014, the former Kansas City chief Michael Oriard asked “is football dying?”. It might have seemed a stupid question at that time but the astonishing fact is that it seems to turning into a truth.
Oriard was smart enough to get an idea of future football a long time ago. Despite the popularity of the National football league, there has been a rapid decline in Gridiron football and evidence suggests that the decline is increasing day by day. Some data figures show the clear decline in Football popularity.