Leading article: Too many own goals

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The Independent Online

There are problems that need to be addressed, and many are the by-products of success. Having sold its soul to the god of television, football has found that fan-worship has its limits. Saturation coverage and awkward kick-off times have also had an effect, along with the errant behaviour of highly paid players and ticket prices inflated to help pay their wages. On top of this, the drama has been dulled since the purchase of Chelsea - and the Premiership title - by a free-spending billionaire.

But all is not lost. Football has weathered worse crises, including hooliganism and corruption. It remains the most popular sport in Britain and its global appeal remains high. It needs to reconsider its relationship with both television and its fans, however. It also needs to examine pricing: the smaller clubs are leading the way, admitting children free. Football is still, for many, a religion, so why not follow the Jesuits and capture the child to retain the adult?

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