Deep Dive   Apr 9, 2021

The future of football

With Michael Ball, Paul Barber, Nick Blackburn & Rob Draper

The Qatar World Cup, betting ethics, and an end to heading the ball?

In this week’s ‘Deep Dive,’ host Chris Wright and guests discuss what is still considered as one of the UK’S most popular sports, football – what the future of the game might look like as the pandemic, Brexit and health concerns call aspects of the sport into question. 

In this episode, Chris is joined by ex footballer and director of CCR Sports Agency Michael Ball; chief executive and deputy chairman of Brighton and Hove Albion, Paul Barber; former chairman of QPR and current director at Cheltenham Town FC, Nick Blackburn; and chief football writer at The Mail on Sunday, Rob Draper.

The discussion begins with guests’ reactions to how the game has changed since the coronavirus pandemic, from how it’s watched, to how it’s played and its finances, and the impact of lockdown on players’ mental health. 

The conversation then moves to Brexit, what this means for transfer windows, whether it will allow UK players more opportunity to flourish, and if international footballers will continue gracing our pitches. 

They dive into the debate around betting brand shirt sponsorship, and ask if we could see an end to heading the ball, with growing concerns around the link between dementia and a career in professional football.

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Episode published: Apr 9, 2021

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