I don’t read as much as I should and when I do read, my choice of book is perhaps not always the most profound. But this week, away on my holidays, I have read a book that has changed forever the way I think about something I love. This particular thing I love is football and this particular book is called ‘Can we have our football back?’ by John Nicholson.

On the cover, Nicholson is described by Danny Kelly as “Britain’s best original football thinker and writer”. Within the pages of this book, I have seen nothing to contradict Kelly’s comments.

John Nicholson wants to rescue football “from the massive money pit into which is has been pushed”. Rightly, he asserts that collectively at least football fans have the ability to effect that change. And his ideas are simple, the main one being that we should all stop subscribing to channels that show football behind a paywall.

I have subscribed to Sky and BT for many years and, like most of you, have been taken in by the marketing bullshit that the Premier League is “the best league in the world” and that it is wildly popular with viewers. The first point is purely subjective. The second is simply wrong.

Behind the hype, televised football behind a paywall is far less successful than you might think. For some games, say the congested mid table area of the Premier League, viewing figures are well under a million. For the big games, say Manchester United v Liverpool, the figures on Sky can reach two million. Out of a population of what, 66 million? This is not the soaraway success story we have been sold, is it? BT figures are tiny by comparison. And yet the rewards for players are astounding, obscene if you will. Who is paying Alexis Sanchez a basic £400k a week, plus an additional £75k when he actually gets on the pitch for Manchester United? Why, we do, the subscribers. Sanchez has been shipped out on loan this season but Manchester United, or rather subscribers, are still paying most of his wages.

I will not reveal too much of the content of the book but if you care about the direction of football in England, you do need to buy it. I have toyed with the idea of getting rid of Sky and now I am more inclined than ever to do so. I pay more and more to Sky, BT and Virgin and I watch less and less football. I am now near the point where I could happily get rid of the lot and live a life as fulfilling, if not more so, without it.

If enough of us did what was surely the right thing, football would have to change. Players would still be fabulously rich compared to the rest of the population but they would be more like us.

Relatively speaking, hardly anyone watches Sky and BT’s football coverage. But if enough of us unticked the direct debit button, we the people could break the near monopoly of the almighty companies who own and control it and return our game to us.

I don’t read as much as I should and when I do read, my choice of book is perhaps not always the most profound. But this week, away on my holidays, I have read a book that has changed forever the way I think about something I love. This particular thing I love is football and this particular book is called ‘Can we have our football back?’ by John Nicholson.

On the cover, Nicholson is described by Danny Kelly as “Britain’s best original football thinker and writer”. Within the pages of this book, I have seen nothing to contradict Kelly’s comments.

John Nicholson wants to rescue football “from the massive money pit into which is has been pushed”. Rightly, he asserts that collectively at least football fans have the ability to effect that change. And his ideas are simple, the main one being that we should all stop subscribing to channels that show football behind a paywall.

I have subscribed to Sky and BT for many years and, like most of you, have been taken in by the marketing bullshit that the Premier League is “the best league in the world” and that it is wildly popular with viewers. The first point is purely subjective. The second is simply wrong.

Behind the hype, televised football behind a paywall is far less successful than you might think. For some games, say the congested mid table area of the Premier League, viewing figures are well under a million. For the big games, say Manchester United v Liverpool, the figures on Sky can reach two million. Out of a population of what, 66 million? This is not the soaraway success story we have been sold, is it? BT figures are tiny by comparison. And yet the rewards for players are astounding, obscene if you will. Who is paying Alexis Sanchez a basic £400k a week, plus an additional £75k when he actually gets on the pitch for Manchester United? Why, we do, the subscribers. Sanchez has been shipped out on loan this season but Manchester United, or rather subscribers, are still paying most of his wages.

I will not reveal too much of the content of the book but if you care about the direction of football in England, you do need to buy it. I have toyed with the idea of getting rid of Sky and now I am more inclined than ever to do so. I pay more and more to Sky, BT and Virgin and I watch less and less football. I am now near the point where I could happily get rid of the lot and live a life as fulfilling, if not more so, without it.

If enough of us did what was surely the right thing, football would have to change. Players would still be fabulously rich compared to the rest of the population but they would be more like us.

Relatively speaking, hardly anyone watches Sky and BT’s football coverage. But if enough of us unticked the direct debit button, we the people could break the near monopoly of the almighty companies who own and control it and return our game to us.