Love it or hate it, there can be no denying that football is, and has been for numerous generations, a sporting revelation. As a spectator sport, as well as actually being played by millions of people, football stands head and shoulders above every other type of sport in terms of world-wide popularity.
The People’s Game
From humble beginnings, the professional sport of modern football began in England, in the 19th century. From that moment, the sport was open to men of all walks of life, as a career or simply as a high-octane pastime, where one could release the tensions of the working week, while cheering on their beloved team; not unlike the gladiatorial events of the Roman era.
As the game evolved, throughout Europe and beyond, it was seen as a non-discriminatory sport. From the poorest of men, to the upper classes, football was popular and accessible to all.
In more recent times, women’s football has increased in popularity too, especially in North America, cementing this simple ball game’s place as the people’s game; in terms of playing and viewing.
Today, football is awash with money. From multi-million pound sponsorship deals, to worldwide screening rights, the amount of money associated with the popularity of football seemingly knows no bounds.
The digital age has been a revelation to many football clubs who can now sell the television rights to their matches, in every corner of the world.
The English Premier League, for example, is screened in numerous far-away shores such as South America, Australia, and Africa. Conversely, many European leagues are extremely popular on British television, with broadcasters paying millions to screen matches from countries like Spain, home to, arguably, the world’s greatest players.
On an international scale, The World Cup remains the most-watched sporting event on Earth, with an estimated 700 million viewers tuning in to watch the last World Cup final in 2010.
Football as a Lifestyle
Ask any diehard football fan about their priorities in life and you’ll invariably find that supporting their team is of huge importance to so many. Men and women of all races and nationalities regard their team’s fan base as a second family; or their main family, in some cases!
Much money is budgeted each year to pay for tickets and the travel costs associated with following a football club home and away for a whole season.
From humble beginnings, to its modern-day status as a sporting colossus, football has taken its place in society as a way of life – Worldwide!