There are many things wrong with the game that I fell in love with some 45 years ago. The list is long.....too long to detail here, but the latest Gordon Gekko style business decision from SAFC highlights how far the game is removed from the halcyon days of FA Cup romance, Giant killers, Minnows and glorious achievement against all odds.
As fairytale writers used to say, Once upon a time, a club like Kidderminster Harriers from non league football would have been able to bask in the glory of pulling an away fixture with a top division club out of the hat, and look forward to enjoying their day in the limelight, and even get "a few quid" in the bank to see them through a season or two. Pin on your over sized rosette, grab your wooden rattle and enjoy your reward.
So far, so good.
Enter the erstwhile decision makers and "bean counters" at Sunderland to drizzle a dash of modern day football reality on to the cream of Kidderminsters' cake.
In case you are not aware of the ticketing issues surrounding this fixture, the long and the SHORT of it is that Sunderland have demanded payment up front from Kidderminster for an extra 2000 tickets that they have requested. This is lumbering Harriers with a potential liability of over £20,000!!!............ WHY?
This game will not be a sell out. Sunderland do not need these seats. They did not sell out for a semi final against Manchester United less than a month ago, so the prospect of the SOL bursting at the seams for their Skrill Premier visitors is fanciful.
£20,000 for Sunderland is probably a weeks wages for one of their under performing stars, while it is a huge amount for a club like Kidderminster.
Ellis Short is Sunderland's American owner, and therefore has to be seen as the final decision maker on such issues. If he is, he should hang his head in shame for such a penny pinching attitude towards what will be one of the biggest days in Kidderminsters history. This is a man who is reported to be worth over $3 Billion!!!
Contrast this with the attitude of their previous chairman, who donated the complete revenue from his testimonial to local hospitals and charities.
This may be common practice, I don't know, but if it is, it is wrong.
It may even be good business practice, but what it shows above everything else, is that in the eyes of the modern football world that GREED IS GOOD. History and tradition increasingly take a back seat to income.
Mr Short, do the decent thing and let them have their one day without worrying about the clubs finances.