Perfectly organised, in an impressive choreography of transport systems, security guards, sausage grills, beer taps and a few well-trained people in jerseys, football takes place on almost every day of the week. Sport, culture, identity creation, industry and statecraft blend into an emotionally charged melange. Perhaps the tools will give us some interesting insights.
Once upon a time in football, players fought for the leather. After a hard duel, lumps of grass flew through the air and with every minute of play the cotton jerseys got dirtier. Today, the polyurethane-coated plastic ball no longer bangs against wooden slats, but against aluminium. Only the turf seems to be the last natural element in football, but here too, hybrid turf and plastic turf are becoming more and more popular. These artificial turfs will outlive even the
as hazardous waste - simply survival of the fittest. And all this so that in a duel only a few grains of plastic granulate fly through the air and the polyester jersey with their advertising banners remain surgically clean.
In professional football, salaries and transfer fees continue to rise, often exceeding the clubs' current income. This can be achieved through the ability to take on more debt or through the private assets of financially strong patrons. Financial fair play within UEFA intends to put a stop to this development. However, the regulatory framework is widely regarded as a failure, as it is built on the
that discriminates against the small, financially weak clubs and favours the large, financially strong clubs. As shown by the football leaks of 2018, Manchester City and Paris St. Germain will also have retroactive exemptions.
A playful display of strength for the sake of fun can still be found on the local football grounds. However, from the club level down to the lowest leagues there is a hard-fought battle about who stands on which step of the
. Financial support, training intensity, mileage, physio- and psychotherapeutic support (to name a few) are constantly being increased.
Shoot the round thing into the square thing, is the most basic description of the objective of football. However, football has long ceased to be a simple game for the fun and enjoyment of both the players and spectators. The ever-increasing commercialization of football has resulted in a comprehensive mechanization of the sport. Goal line and video replay technology are still only found in the upper echelons of football, but even in the lower leagues, scientific and technical methods are used to optimize training plans for individual players as well as to record their running paths throughout the game. To be able to keep up this deathly pace, athletes inject painkillers to counteract their chronic pain, while many of their spectators sit in front of their television sets and suffer from a lack of physical activity. In order for this whole system to run smoothly, countless people volunteer as gearholders, youth coaches, referees as well as in the various committees at district, state and national level. The analysis of football using the
shows that the only hope for a different future for the sport lies in ensuring a democratic constitution.
The football club FC Bayern München earns about 90 million euros per season through merchandise such as pennants, towels, ties, key chains, pacifiers and bed sheets. However, the undisputed first place on the
list is taken by the current jersey of FC Bayern München. At the beginning of a season, it already gives you the feeling that you’re wearing the jersey of the coming champion and that you are part of your club’s success story. Things look very different for the 17 losers in the Bundesliga, who did not make it to first place - thanks to jerseys and other merchandise, they only earned 100 million in revenue - a problem that can be solved only through comfort shopping and comfort eating.
Club bosses, owners and sponsors worth millions, TV broadcasting rights worth billions, and the top players from FIFA, UEFA and the national football associations are all exerting their full
on football. Though inferior in number to the fans, the volunteer youth coaches, the field managers and players of small clubs as well as the people who bake cakes for the Sunday game fundraiser in the village, it is still the former who assert their demands on the sport while the latter look after them. However, fans all over the world are increasingly articulating their protest against Monday games, 'English weeks', commercialisation, and so on.
Professional football has long since ceased to be an easy sport and game. Professional football was developed with the
so that the values of material as well as immaterial assets/brands/players are of utmost importance. Just like in a machine, everything in professional football is regulated and controlled: the stadium construction in the furthest corner of the countryside, the exclusive reporting by the club's own TV stations instead of a free press, as well as the analysis of the players' lactate levels and their interaction with fans.
In professional football, not only the goals and two 45-minute long halves are measured. Every single move made on the pitch is now recorded, measured and controlled down to the smallest detail. Even outside the field, everything from nutrition to blood levels is meticulously standardized and evaluated. The latest and greatest money-maker is the smart
which decorates our wrists and checks all bodily movements. The constant (self-)optimization of the working world is now also governing our private lives, so that the self-quantification pulls out of us every single one of the latest performance updates - up to the point of ‘overclocking’ ...
On 30 July 1955, the German Football Association (DFB) unanimously decided at its annual assembly that "...our clubs shall not be permitted to establish or include women's football divisions in order to prohibit our clubs, so long as they are in possession of their own pitches, from making them available for women's football matches as well as ensuring our clubs prohibit referees and line judges from directing women's football matches... this competitive sport is essentially alien to the nature of women... In the fight for the ball, female grace disappears, body and soul inevitably suffer damage and the display of the body violates decency and modesty." The DFB lifted the women's football ban at its annual assembly only in 1970, thus slightly trimming the
.
"Football is our life. King Football rules the world. We fight and give everything - until one goal after the other is scored." - In 1974 it was just a popular song in Germany, but it is becoming more and more a reality. Passive football watching is installed as absolutist
: seven days a week it flickers on the screens, while fewer and fewer people play football themselves or support their small local clubs. At the same time, other sports are being marginalized, as is any other social activity. For example, a well-accepted, well-maintained and award-winning urban gardening project in Berlin-Wedding has to give way to yet another football academy for up-and-coming talents.