Delia: Football is in great danger

Delia Smith today made a scathing attack on the state of football in England, warning: 'The game is in great danger.' Norwich City's joint majority shareholder claims the Premier League is out of control and has urged the Government to intervene and regulate the sport.

Delia Smith today made a scathing attack on the state of football in England, warning: “The game is in great danger.”

Norwich City's joint majority shareholder claims the Premier League is out of control and has urged the Government to intervene and regulate the sport.

She said: “It is pretty sad that we are the country that invented the game of football and we are letting it go.

“Football is such a wonderful part of being British. It is a shame a lot of the money which has come in from Sky is being wasted. I really don't see the financial situation getting better. Unless a miracle happens.”


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Delia, who has been a constant critic of the gap between rich and poor clubs and the greed of the Premier League, renewed her attack on the game's elite in a national newspaper interview.

She said: “The situation is getting more and more ridiculous and silly. It is very sad. Football is in great danger.

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“Young people cannot afford to go in the Premier League. You see matches on TV with swathes of empty seats - it's not looking good.

“Everyone is drifting along in football. Now we have a change of Government, maybe they will look at the effects of the Premier League and see that it is destroying one of the last vestiges of community that is left in this country. Football is very healthy for kids. I call it a safe drug.

“If someone in the Government can understand how precious this is, at a time they are trying to stop knife crime . . . we have the highest incidence of drugs in young people in Europe.

“If the Government can think of the well-being of the game, they should intervene and should threaten to regulate football better.

“I think it's happening in Germany and over there you can watch Bayern Munich for six quid. Over here, it is all over the shop.

“One idea should be a rule that not all TV money can be spent on players - a percentage has to go on infrastructure.”

Delia, 68, and husband Michael Wynn-Jones have invested more than �11million at Carrow Road since joining the board in 1996.

They enjoyed one of their happiest moments last week when the Canaries paraded the League One trophy around the city centre and she addressed fans from the Castle mound.

But she repeated her assertion that they would be willing to step down from the club if necessary to make room for new backers.

She said: “If someone comes along with new investment and will be right for the club, we won't mind.

“We'd still come along and buy a season ticket. Our enthusiasm has not diminished in any way. It is fantastic. We're still working very hard.

“I have really enjoyed being in League One. Obviously I didn't enjoy the 7-1 defeat to Colchester on the opening day, which was shocking.

“But I went to clubs I had not been to before. I really liked Hartlepool and Exeter.

“In League One, all footballers seem to be really, really up for it.

“In the Championship, you sometimes get leftovers from the Premier League who don't feel like it on a certain day.”

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