Scenes From Football History – 1982/83: How Fulham Blew It

From the mid-1960s on, football grew massively as a passive spectator sport. The realisation that football could evolve as a spectator sport for people that weren’t even at the match was a revolution in terms of the perception of the game. By 1983, moves for live televising of league football for the first time were already well in motion. By the end of 1983, the first Football League match to be shown on live television would have come to pass. Within a decade, the game would have been through its biggest crises and come out the other side towards a future that would both save the game and sell its soul down the river. The final season before this revolution – the last season, in many respects, of “old football” – was a strange one. Liverpool won the First Division by eleven points, and this came with a slump in their last few matches, after the title had already been won. At the time, the television set up was fairly simple. On Saturdays, each ITV region sent their Outside Broadcast Unit to a match and, in the evening, showed a regional show featuring their local match and highlights of matches from two other regions. On Sunday afternoons, the BBC’s “Match Of The Day” showed highlights from two matches. With Liverpool running away with the First Division championship, the television...

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