Burnham claims English football has become too commercial

July 1, 2010

Former Culture Secretary Andy Burnham has said English football is suffering the effects of becoming too commercial.

Burnham said: “I think money has poisoned our national game. Our game has rampant commercialism. We have put money before the sport and we are reaping the dividends of that.

“The governing body is a hung parliament and isn’t able to take a view as the interests of the Premeir League, sadly, predominate at the FA.

“Since the Premier League was created, we’ve had commercial forces running riot across our game.

“We have seen fans priced out of going to football, we have seen money going out of the top of the game and not benefiting the grassroots or the lower divisions and I think it’s got to change.”

Burnham was also with the FA delegation who handed over England’s bid for the 2018 World Cup to FIFA in Zurich in May, but says English football needs to change if there is any chance of it winning the bid.

He said: “They (FIFA) dislike the arrogance of English football and they think we have failed to tame commercialism in our own sport.

“And it’s not just that it has a damaging effect on English football, it affects football everywhere, particularly in Europe because it has an inflationary effect on wages across Europe but also our clubs are bringing in that talent from a very young age from countries all around the world.

“So they see the effect of the English game on the stability of football elsewhere and they don’t like it and I don’t blame them for not likeing it.”