Is summer football the way forward?
The rainy weather we have just experienced has made a strong case for local football to embrace the idea of operating over the summer months.
It all seems so straightforward: longer evenings to make training more bearable, fewer muscle-pull injuries, matches without the need for floodlights, fewer postponements, t-shirted supporters enticed out into the fresh air – what isn’t there to like?
The traditionalists will argue that football has always been a winter sport, so why change?
Well, football has to move with the times. There are so many more forms of entertainment, all vying for our time and money. It takes a real die-hard fan to drag him / herself away from the hearth on a wild, winter’s night to huddle together like penguins against the elements – all for a football match!
Burying heads in the sand and hoping things will improve has not worked for the last 20 years: crowds have dwindled. The authorities have tinkered with competition formats, the size of various divisions and even introduced Irish League football to SKY, but none of this has addressed the declining attendances.
Football is primarily an entertainment, and like any other business relying on bums on seats, we need to meet or exceed customer expectations to survive and prosper.
Instead of looking for problems, maybe it’s time to look for solutions.