My Letter to the Football Associations of Great Britain regarding the British Home Championship
This went out to The Football Association, The Irish Football Association, The Scottish Football Association and The Football Association of Wales. As with most of my letters it’s self explanatory but i am proposing that a home nation football tournament be played in the summer of season where there is no World Cup or European Championships. Makes sense to me and its something i’ve wanted to see for years. In the past year or so i’ve been to Wembley twice on England duty. First seeing the Spain victory and then the San Marino snorefest. Speaking as an England fan i know how the country get behind the team during the major championship, even when we have absolutely no chance. I know some people will say i’m only keen on this so England can actually win something. But that is not true, i see this tournament being competitive between all nations. 4 games, anything can happen.
Remember to look back at the previous letters on this blog.
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I am writing to request that you consider bringing back the British Home Championship. This championship was contested between England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. The tournament was held for 100 years, up until 1984.
The main reason I believe that the tournament should be brought back is to fill the footballing void left in the summer where there is no major football tournament i.e. The World Cup or the European Championship. Whether a nation makes it to the finals is irrelevant, as football fans will watch the tournament regardless of whether they have a team to support. However, at present every two years there is a ‘wasted’ summer.
I note that an attempt to resurrect the tournament was made in 2011, whereby England was replaced by Republic of Ireland. This followed similar rules to the original tournament. The tournament appears to have been cancelled due to poor attendance figures.
The 2011 tournament appears to have been played out over two standard friendly opportunities, notably February and then concluding in May. As such a small tournament to be played out over the course of 4 months, it was never going to provoke any sense of excitement and merely became low rate friendlies.
I believe that a new tournament consisting of four teams (the founding members) could be played out over the course of 10-14 days in the summer that does not have a major tournament i.e. every two years. It could follow a similar format to the original by having three rounds of games whereby all teams play each other once with results tabulated to enable first and second place to play each other again in a final. In addition to this the tournament should be played in full in one country. The host country could alternate each time the tournament takes place.
By playing the tournament out in a short space of time in one country, I believe a sense of excitement could be achieved. This would lead to higher attendances, more interest from sponsors/TV along with tourism from the three visiting nations during the tournament.
Arguments against a tournament such as this would be that players need a rest, they already play too many games and that there would be fixture congestion. That is why I’m suggesting that it takes place only every two years when a major tournament is not taking place. On tournament years the elite players in each country play two friendlies taking place at the back end of May and first week in June. Then qualifying teams play a minimum of three Championship games in the middle of June progressing to a maximum of seven. On non-tournament years there is still the opportunity for end of season friendlies. Why do these players need an extra couple of weeks rest every two years? The argument is null and void. In addition to this there is the argument that friendlies are meaningless. Whilst they should be used as a way of bedding in new players or forming a team capable of wining competitive games, players and fans seem not to be interested in these games. Therefore bringing in an element of competition can only counter balance this feeling.
I would be interested to know whether this is something that would be considered as I for one would welcome competitive international football each year and the ‘mini’ British Home Championship taking place in the off year would be the perfect way to quench my footballing appetite.