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In Pictures
'The opium of the masses'
 
Buddy Owen, Hoylake Chapel Pastor: "In some ways sport, and football in particular in this country [Britain], is almost the last bastion of worship." [GALLO/GETTY]
Chris Stirrup, AFC Liverpool chaiman: "Tickets for premier league games now costs 40, 50 pounds, that's not very family friendly anymore. That's not the fault of any particular football club, that's just the way football has gone now." [GALLO/GETTY]
Rogan Taylor, university lecturer and Liverpool fan: "Given the economic effects of the steady rise of ticket prices way above inflation over two decades now, it's clearly taxing what we used to call ordinary working men and women's purses much higher than it once did." [GALLO/GETTY]
Rogan Taylor, university lecturer and Liverpool fan: "It [football] seems to be something that families and individuals cling on to, it's the last item they are going to dispose of." [GALLO/GETTY]
Bill Shankly, former Liverpool manager: "... Liverpool is an institution, and if you are a member of the club, you feel as if you are a member of a big society where you have got thousands of friends all around you." [GALLO/GETTY]
Chris Stirrup, AFC Liverpool chaiman: "When I was growing up, you'd wake up on a Saturday morning and go to the match. Now for a lot of children and families as well Saturday football involves Sky Sports, watching the goals go in on the telly." [GALLO/GETTY]
Chris Stirrup, AFC Liverpool chairman: "We are not a protest against Liverpool. Everyone here is a Liverpudlian, we still go and watch Liverpool games when we can. It is just that for whatever reason we are not able to get into Anfield anymore." [GALLO/GETTY]
Jay Mckenna, Spirit of Shankly supporters group: "Football supporters are treated as a commodity. It's expected that if I don't turn up somebody else will take my place or that if I don't want to spend 50 pounds on a football shirt somebody else will. That's not a nice attitude to have." [GALLO/GETTY]
Dave Boyle, former CEO of Supporters Direct: "Fans are often criticised as being led by this mad passion for success, but in our experience it's the fly-by night directors who have pitched up out of nowhere wanting a bit of fun in football clubs who are the most reckless and the most ambitious and most careless." [GALLO/GETTY]
Rogan Taylor, university lecturer and Liverpool fan: "Football gets you the world, but the Premier League gets you the world with knobs on. And that's why there are five American owners, 25 per cent of the Premier League is owned by Americans now. And another 25 per cent of it is owned by other foreigners." [GALLO/GETTY]
John W Henry, Liverpool FC owner: "We are here to win, we have a tradition of winning. We are the second highest spending club in major league baseball, and we are here to win." [GALLO/GETTY]
Peter Hooton, singer and Liverpool fan: "We'll always be [fans], our sons and daughters will always be, it's been going on for generations. The American ownership - how long is it going to last, nobody knows, nobody has got a crystal ball, but they are businessmen and they are not in this for the good of Liverpool football club, just because it helps their portfolio." [GALLO/GETTY]
David Boyle, former CEO of Supporters Direct: "What most fans want ... if you have a decent manager, a decent team, and a decent set up, then there is a chance for you to be successful. Whereas in England the chances of being successful depend on your ability to find an extremely wealthy individual who is pretty unconcerned about losing most of their fortune." [GALLO/GETTY]
Chris Pilsbury, Chester FC chairman: "You've got a situation where some businessman comes in and pours money into it [the club] and then suddenly for some reason he gets fed up or he gets bankrupt, so he wants the money back. The club is in debt, the club goes into liquidation ... And this cycle, it continues in football." [GALLO/GETTY]
Gordon Taylor, chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association: "I find it an irony really that the game has never had so much income and never been in so much debt." [GALLO/GETTY]
Peter Ridsdale, acting chairman of Plymouth Argyle FC: "Too many people go into football and think it's simple. It's only simple if you do the right things and you stick to doing the right things rather than get carried away emotionally." [GALLO/GETTY]
Peter Reid, Plymouth Argyle FC manager: "You can't spend what you haven't got. You can speculate to accumulate if you like, but within a budget. Once you start getting over that budget it is very, very dangerous." [GALLO/GETTY]
Peter Ridsdale, acting chairman of Plymouth Argyle FC: "What we need to remind everybody who is interested in investing in football is: Football clubs need people who are focused on the detail, who understand football and can run this as a business, but as a football club business, and not get carried away with emotion. And after all, I've been there for myself." [GALLO/GETTY]
Peter Reid, Plymouth Argyle FC manager: "If you go down a road where you are putting the existence of a football club at stake, that cannot be right. That cannot be worth the gamble." [GALLO/GETTY]
Dave Boyle, former CEO of Supporters Direct: "When a club like Plymouth goes insanely into debt, the supporters and the wider communities are thinking: Will we still have a club next season? Their [the supporters] main focus is to not just be successful this year, just to exist next year and the year after to give the next generation the same inheritance you had as a football supporter." [GALLO/GETTY]
Jay Mckenna, Spirit of Shankly supporters group: "The powers that be – the FA, the Premier League and the football clubs themselves – need to recognise the importance of supporters and need to realise that without us they wouldn't exist, without us they wouldn't be able to attract these multi-million pound sponsorship deals." [GALLO/GETTY]
Peter Hooton, singer and Liverpool fan: "Everyone realises it is all about money. The Premiership is now Hollywood, there is no doubt about that. The players are superstars, they are treated as cool celebrities, even their wives are superstars." [GALLO/GETTY]
Steve McManaman, former Liverpool player: "The higher wages we're paid, the fans will always presume it is coming out of their pocket. And I think with the economy, with the world, the way we are at the moment we need to certainly step back and try and adjust." [GALLO/GETTY]
Steve Perryman, Exeter City director of football: "Bill Nicholson, the famous manager, used to tell us that the most important people at the club were the supporters. As he rightly said, these players are going to leave one day, and the people that stay with the club are the supporters. So actually they are the important ones." [GALLO/GETTY]
Frank McParland, director of academy and player development at Liverpool FC: "There is so much money involved in football ... That money comes from somewhere and a lot of the time it's from the supporters and what the supporters expect to see consistently is the work, the hard work, the efforts, giving everything for the club." [GALLO/GETTY]
Chris Pilsbury, Chester FC chairman: "In any club the most important people are the fans. Football clubs can change the name, they can change the manager, they can change the ground, they can change owners, they change players. The fans are the only constant." [GALLO/GETTY]
A Chester FC fan: "You are a person when you come here. If you went to something like Liverpool, you are just a face in the crowd." [GALLO/GETTY]
Frances Farley, Exeter City director: "We are trustees, we are custodians of this football club. We want this football club to continue long after we have gone, long after I have gone, for the next generation. It belongs to the people of Exeter." [GALLO/GETTY]
Peter Hooton, singer and Liverpool fan: "It's a drug, itis the opium of the masses, there is no doubt about it. Karl Marx said religion was, but that was because football hadn't been invented. If had been around now, he would be saying football, because it is all powerful and you can see the way it consumes people and it takes over their lives." [GALLO/GETTY]
Rogan Taylor, university lecturer and Liverpool fan: "The relationship between people and club is the key to the entire value structure of the game. The quite simple answer to the question what is a football club worth? The answer is: How much do people love you? How many of them love you?" [GALLO/GETTY]
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'The opium of the masses' /mritems/Images/2011/8/24/2011824121142236833_8.jpg;*;/mritems/Images/2011/8/24/2011824125057937734_8.jpg;*;/mritems/Images/2011/8/24/201182412026160734_8.jpg;*;/mritems/Images/2011/8/25/201182564614215734_8.jpg;*;/mritems/Images/2011/8/25/201182563456796734_8.jpg;*;/mritems/Images/2011/8/24/20118241292246580_8.jpg;*;/mritems/Images/2011/8/24/201182412049473734_8.jpg;*;/mritems/Images/2011/8/24/2011824121030688797_8.jpg;*;/mritems/Images/2011/8/24/201182412363261580_8.jpg;*;/mritems/Images/2011/8/24/201182412156568738_8.jpg;*;/mritems/Images/2011/8/24/201182412127283784_8.jpg;*;/mritems/Images/2011/8/24/2011824121550256140_8.jpg;*;/mritems/Images/2011/8/24/201182412330726580_8.jpg;*;/mritems/Images/2011/8/24/20118241252603360_8.jpg;*;/mritems/Images/2011/8/24/2011824121529568580_8.jpg;*;/mritems/Images/2011/8/24/201182412419556621_8.jpg;*;/mritems/Images/2011/8/24/201182412138240734_8.jpg;*;/mritems/Images/2011/8/24/201182412158897580_8.jpg;*;/mritems/Images/2011/8/24/201182412110474734_8.jpg;*;/mritems/Images/2011/8/24/2011824134651846811_8.jpg;*;/mritems/Images/2011/8/24/2011824121116485112_8.jpg;*;/mritems/Images/2011/8/24/201182412231288580_8.jpg;*;/mritems/Images/2011/8/24/201182412143467580_8.jpg;*;/mritems/Images/2011/8/24/20118241201129784_8.jpg;*;/mritems/Images/2011/8/24/201182412370828472_8.jpg;*;/mritems/Images/2011/8/24/201182412749810734_8.jpg;*;/mritems/Images/2011/8/24/20118241260807371_8.jpg;*;/mritems/Images/2011/8/24/2011824135358416734_8.jpg;*;/mritems/Images/2011/8/24/201182412249569734_8.jpg;*;/mritems/Images/2011/8/24/2011824123557389734_8.jpg Buddy Owen, Hoylake Chapel Pastor: "In some ways sport, and football in particular in this country [Britain], is almost the last bastion of worship." [GALLO/GETTY];*;Chris Stirrup, AFC Liverpool chaiman: "Tickets for premier league games now costs 40, 50 pounds, that(***)s not very family friendly anymore. That(***)s not the fault of any particular football club, that(***)s just the way football has gone now." [GALLO/GETTY];*;Rogan Taylor, university lecturer and Liverpool fan: "Given the economic effects of the steady rise of ticket prices way above inflation over two decades now, it(***)s clearly taxing what we used to call ordinary working men and women(***)s purses much higher than it once did." [GALLO/GETTY];*;Rogan Taylor, university lecturer and Liverpool fan: "It [football] seems to be something that families and individuals cling on to, it(***)s the last item they are going to dispose of." [GALLO/GETTY];*;Bill Shankly, former Liverpool manager: "... Liverpool is an institution, and if you are a member of the club, you feel as if you are a member of a big society where you have got thousands of friends all around you." [GALLO/GETTY];*;Chris Stirrup, AFC Liverpool chaiman: "When I was growing up, you(***)d wake up on a Saturday morning and go to the match. Now for a lot of children and families as well Saturday football involves Sky Sports, watching the goals go in on the telly." [GALLO/GETTY];*;Chris Stirrup, AFC Liverpool chairman: "We are not a protest against Liverpool. Everyone here is a Liverpudlian, we still go and watch Liverpool games when we can. It is just that for whatever reason we are not able to get into Anfield anymore." [GALLO/GETTY];*;Jay Mckenna, Spirit of Shankly supporters group: "Football supporters are treated as a commodity. It(***)s expected that if I don(***)t turn up somebody else will take my place or that if I don(***)t want to spend 50 pounds on a football shirt somebody else will. That(***)s not a nice attitude to have." [GALLO/GETTY];*;Dave Boyle, former CEO of Supporters Direct: "Fans are often criticised as being led by this mad passion for success, but in our experience it(***)s the fly-by night directors who have pitched up out of nowhere wanting a bit of fun in football clubs who are the most reckless and the most ambitious and most careless." [GALLO/GETTY];*;Rogan Taylor, university lecturer and Liverpool fan: "Football gets you the world, but the Premier League gets you the world with knobs on. And that(***)s why there are five American owners, 25 per cent of the Premier League is owned by Americans now. And another 25 per cent of it is owned by other foreigners." [GALLO/GETTY];*;John W Henry, Liverpool FC owner: "We are here to win, we have a tradition of winning. We are the second highest spending club in major league baseball, and we are here to win." [GALLO/GETTY];*;Peter Hooton, singer and Liverpool fan: "We(***)ll always be [fans], our sons and daughters will always be, it(***)s been going on for generations. The American ownership - how long is it going to last, nobody knows, nobody has got a crystal ball, but they are businessmen and they are not in this for the good of Liverpool football club, just because it helps their portfolio." [GALLO/GETTY];*;David Boyle, former CEO of Supporters Direct: "What most fans want ... if you have a decent manager, a decent team, and a decent set up, then there is a chance for you to be successful. Whereas in England the chances of being successful depend on your ability to find an extremely wealthy individual who is pretty unconcerned about losing most of their fortune." [GALLO/GETTY];*;Chris Pilsbury, Chester FC chairman: "You(***)ve got a situation where some businessman comes in and pours money into it [the club] and then suddenly for some reason he gets fed up or he gets bankrupt, so he wants the money back. The club is in debt, the club goes into liquidation ... And this cycle, it continues in football." [GALLO/GETTY];*;Gordon Taylor, chief executive of the Professional Footballers(***) Association: "I find it an irony really that the game has never had so much income and never been in so much debt." [GALLO/GETTY];*;Peter Ridsdale, acting chairman of Plymouth Argyle FC: "Too many people go into football and think it(***)s simple. It(***)s only simple if you do the right things and you stick to doing the right things rather than get carried away emotionally." [GALLO/GETTY];*;Peter Reid, Plymouth Argyle FC manager: "You can(***)t spend what you haven(***)t got. You can speculate to accumulate if you like, but within a budget. Once you start getting over that budget it is very, very dangerous." [GALLO/GETTY];*;Peter Ridsdale, acting chairman of Plymouth Argyle FC: "What we need to remind everybody who is interested in investing in football is: Football clubs need people who are focused on the detail, who understand football and can run this as a business, but as a football club business, and not get carried away with emotion. And after all, I(***)ve been there for myself." [GALLO/GETTY];*;Peter Reid, Plymouth Argyle FC manager: "If you go down a road where you are putting the existence of a football club at stake, that cannot be right. That cannot be worth the gamble." [GALLO/GETTY];*;Dave Boyle, former CEO of Supporters Direct: "When a club like Plymouth goes insanely into debt, the supporters and the wider communities are thinking: Will we still have a club next season? Their [the supporters] main focus is to not just be successful this year, just to exist next year and the year after to give the next generation the same inheritance you had as a football supporter." [GALLO/GETTY] ;*;Jay Mckenna, Spirit of Shankly supporters group: "The powers that be – the FA, the Premier League and the football clubs themselves – need to recognise the importance of supporters and need to realise that without us they wouldn(***)t exist, without us they wouldn(***)t be able to attract these multi-million pound sponsorship deals." [GALLO/GETTY];*;Peter Hooton, singer and Liverpool fan: "Everyone realises it is all about money. The Premiership is now Hollywood, there is no doubt about that. The players are superstars, they are treated as cool celebrities, even their wives are superstars." [GALLO/GETTY];*;Steve McManaman, former Liverpool player: "The higher wages we(***)re paid, the fans will always presume it is coming out of their pocket. And I think with the economy, with the world, the way we are at the moment we need to certainly step back and try and adjust." [GALLO/GETTY];*;Steve Perryman, Exeter City director of football: "Bill Nicholson, the famous manager, used to tell us that the most important people at the club were the supporters. As he rightly said, these players are going to leave one day, and the people that stay with the club are the supporters. So actually they are the important ones." [GALLO/GETTY];*;Frank McParland, director of academy and player development at Liverpool FC: "There is so much money involved in football ... That money comes from somewhere and a lot of the time it(***)s from the supporters and what the supporters expect to see consistently is the work, the hard work, the efforts, giving everything for the club." [GALLO/GETTY];*;Chris Pilsbury, Chester FC chairman: "In any club the most important people are the fans. Football clubs can change the name, they can change the manager, they can change the ground, they can change owners, they change players. The fans are the only constant." [GALLO/GETTY];*;A Chester FC fan: "You are a person when you come here. If you went to something like Liverpool, you are just a face in the crowd." [GALLO/GETTY];*;Frances Farley, Exeter City director: "We are trustees, we are custodians of this football club. We want this football club to continue long after we have gone, long after I have gone, for the next generation. It belongs to the people of Exeter." [GALLO/GETTY];*;Peter Hooton, singer and Liverpool fan: "It(***)s a drug, itis the opium of the masses, there is no doubt about it. Karl Marx said religion was, but that was because football hadn(***)t been invented. If had been around now, he would be saying football, because it is all powerful and you can see the way it consumes people and it takes over their lives." [GALLO/GETTY];*;Rogan Taylor, university lecturer and Liverpool fan: "The relationship between people and club is the key to the entire value structure of the game. The quite simple answer to the question what is a football club worth? The answer is: How much do people love you? How many of them love you?" [GALLO/GETTY] 0
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