Back in the Day...

Last updated : 10 April 2007 By Michael Grady

It was a time, not so long ago, when it was a more interesting game. Blackburn won the Premiership, Everton won the FA Cup and the Cup Winners Cup was still around. Obviously football has changed over the years, but even looking back 15 years ago it is drastically different.

Everything in the game now seems more complicated and confusing; agents, transfer window, the offside rule and technology. Even qualifying for a competition has become an area of confusion with the footballing bodies chopping, changing and bending the rules left, right and centre. Footballers used to be able to go out on the lash, have a bit of a dance and a kebab, but now it seems it is forbidden. Andy Van Der Meyde was severely punished by Everton for having a few drinks… I remember hearing my sisters tell me what Scum players they saw in the toon on a Saturday night.

Fifteen years ago there were few foreigners in the game, few prima donnas, no one had an image rights contract and wages were reasonably sensible. Even getting a ticket for the match is over complicated these days. You have to be a member, have enough points on your account and pay ridiculously large amounts of money to watch what normally turns out to be drivel. £96 for a top ticket at the Emerites. £65 at Stamford Bridge…shocking.

Even programs are expensive…£3 for Red n' White Review…back at Roker for my first match I paid £1.10 for mine.

I know this piece sounded like moaning…but I just love the game so much and I hate how commercial it has become and how money driven…luckily Keane and Quinn don't seem so inclined. I long for a simpler time…no PPV, no WAG's and no bloody metatarsals.