Moving the goalposts – A Yorkshire Tragedy
Written by Anthony Clavane
Published by Quercus Publishing 2016
Paperback version 2017
This book is a really good read in content flow and uncomplicated English.
It is about the demise of sport in Yorkshire brought about by the reckless de -industrialisation of the county in the last 50 years whether it be cotton, steel, coal or fishing.
The decline in the involvement of communities that supported the teams whether close to the grounds, in the workplace at the local welfare club, the pub or over the fence is brilliantly portrayed. A dash to a culture of the individual enabled people to take control of sports teams allowing them to borrow against a new tomorrow leading to the liquidation of clubs or over burdening them with lasting debt of which some have not recovered. The growth of Sky and their domination through money and changes to suit their broadcasting in Rugby League Rugby Union, Cricket and Football detached the paying public often turning them from spectator/fan to consumer. Recent domination by the top teams through being owned by Oligarchs, Countries and Corporations, with no links to national or local communities has enhanced the disconnect and poor performance of the local team on top of the local de-industrialisation. This has further emphasised the left behind culture that has blighted the country particularly in Yorkshire.
There are great references to Kes, Billy Elliott and The Full Monty how their portrayals referenced the times and changing attitudes.
Leeds may have now returned to the Premiership but other clubs such as Sheffield Wednesday, Rotherham and Sheffield United have gone backwards and Halifax and York are no longer in the football league structure. Featherstone Rovers may never again be able to compete for the Rugby League Challenge Cup.
Definitely worth a read.