What is a tangible asset?

Tangible assets are something you can touch, something you can hold on to. 

Why do you need something to hold on to?

If you need to ask that question, you shouldn’t even be reading this.

Everybody needs something to hold on to. It’s what being human is about. If we weren’t human, we’d be mere machines, just a load of  0’s and 1’s (plug for the new Matrix film – which surely cannot be as bad as the last one but will never be as good as the first). Nothing in the Matrix was tangible, challenging the age old adage that if it walks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck…. But then again, anything could be anything in The Matrix.

thanks to googleimages for the picture

From the moment we are born into this world, the first thing a human baby does is reach out for something to hold. After it’s took it’s first breath and screams, obviously. It’s inherent, it’s biological, it’s clinically known as  the grasp reflex for you non medical people. We then spend the rest of our lives searching for stuff, whether it’s ethereal and perceptual, like knowledge or wisdom, or material, like money or bricks and mortar, or emotional like friends and company, or impalpable like love and devotion. Whether we can physically grab a hold of something, or treasure it in our hearts and minds, everybody needs something to hold onto. True to form, we search for things, find it, treasure it and then invariably lose it (mostly after putting it in a really safe place), but then we find it again. Bit like Leeds United’s  form over the last decade or so.

As Jake and Elwood famously sang, Everybody, needs Somebody

As seasoned Leeds United fans, what are our tangible assets?

At the moment? Well, that’s easy – Marcelo Bielsa.

The obvious aside, what have we, as Leeds United fans, actually got as our tangible assets? Realistically, right now, our long term tangible assets are few and far between. I guess we have ER back now from whoever B*tes sold it to. IF he ever sold it, that is. Apart from that, we have our club, our season tickets, about 850 of us have their away season tickets too, but most important of all we have our mates and our fellow Leeds United fans. And drink – we have drink. And, in 6 weeks ………. IT’S CHRISTMAS!

Unfortunately, in this new age of the “modern game”, football is strangely bereft of anything of value which lasts longer than a couple of seasons. Long gone are the days of enduring symbols of our great club. Even our beloved badge has changed over the last 50 years. Luckily the most recent threat of a 21st century update was thwarted in it’s tracks, at the first hurdle, by change.org. But long gone are the one club stalwarts like Gary Kelly or Stevie G in the PL, there’s always Billy Sharp in the Chumpionship though.

Bielsa himself is one of the longest serving managers in the PL currently. Our players, our managers and I guess our owners, are all but temporary members of staff and custodians in truth. As soon as the next “big thing” comes up, they will be off. That of course, assumes that we stop being the next “big thing”. Luckily, despite the doom mongers peddling the “second season” wet blanket / glass half full misery, following that solid display against Leicester, it looks like our momentum is starting to build again.

Once we get all our team fit again, we have potential to start climbing back up the table. Ultimately, we are only 6 points off Europe still, and it’s only November. It’s in all our best interests to stay in the PL, play exciting football and go for the victories in the Cups, as well as the league. The more success we have, the more likely we will stay at our status quo, or even improve our standing in the “best League in the World”. With more success, comes the added security that no one will want to leave, and barring massive fall outs between the team, coaching staff and the owners, we may finish with the same, or similar, complement of players and coaching staff that we started with at the start of the season. God willing.

It’s not only “modern football” that is the problem. It’s “modern 21st Century life” in general which confounds us.

We can argue that given football in the 21st Century is still just 90 minutes, divided into two 45 minute halves, with 22 men and 3 officials on the pitch (until FIFA / UEFA decide otherwise and split it into 4 quarters so it’s easier for the Yanks to understand), football hasn’t changed much. What has changed is that football has become less and less about the actual game, and more and more about the revenue that comes from it. Not just in TV rights and advertising opportunities, but all the gambling opportunities that are generated from it and all the shady deals that happen behind closed doors between agents, managers, players and chairmen.

Football used to be just a game. Now it’s net worth, not just to the Clubs and the Football Associations and organisations around the world, is so huge that, football has basically become a commodity. And, as with all commodities, their sole purpose is just to be traded and passed round or shared between the rich and the powerful.

There is more money in and around the likes of Chelsea, Citeh and now Newcastle, than some nation states and small countries in the world. The increase in money surrounding football has meant that the actual net worth of football, as in the 90 minutes on the pitch, has become so devalued, it is more or less meaningless. Worthless to anyone outside of those lucky enough to attend live football matches, and those who can’t get to the game but watch it on the telly like a c***.

Win, lose or draw the money still comes in from the broadcasting rights and the gambling companies. The wealth managers and the commodity traders are not bothered about the result either. If a team wins, the commodity becomes more valuable, if the team loses, the commodity becomes a tradeable asset, which may yet yield a net profit, depending on how much you paid for it at the start. It’s not just the team either, the same goes for the players, with some individuals racking up more in a week than most of us will ever earn in our entire lifetimes. Some players are shamelessly earning more in a year than some countries entire GDPs. Yet they still seem fit to lecture us on what we, the fans, should be doing to “help out”, meanwhile driving around in a different 4×4 everyday and gazing down from the lofty heights of their £2 million luxury pad. That’s capitalism for you!

What does it all mean to us (lucky) season ticket holders and (unlucky) gold members on the 22,000+ season ticket waiting list? It means that the rich and powerful (or in the case of GFH – skint and powerful), can do what they like with our club, on whatever whim they have, and there’s not a lot we can do about it. Like modern 21st century life, if you have the money and the means of the Entitled Elite, you can do what you want. Us plebs? We get what we are given. Capitalism is great isn’t it?

What can I do?

Fight back. Rebel.

There’s many who wonder why I am so vehemently opposed to cashless. There’s many who wonder why I object so much to social media and companies who want me to use my phone to bank with and interact with. There’s many who wonder why I moan all the time about modern life, full stop really.

It’s mainly because I don’t like things imposed on me. I want to choose what I do and how I interact, thank you very much. And yes, I don’t like be told what to do, no one does. It’s what being independent means. I’m unique (thank god!), I don’t fit into any tick box, I am NOT just a number – I am not Number 6.

Patrick McGoohan Explains The Meaning Of The Prisoner, A TV Classic
thanks to the website “Stuffnobodycaresabout” for the picture.

You can be forgiven for having no idea whatsoever what I am going on about. However, just to let you young folks know, being independent, being your own person, being allowed to think for yourself and be free to make your choices, isn’t a new thing. Being an individual and valued, and not being conditioned by society, isn’t just a millennial thing. We’ve been trying to free ourselves from the shackles of conformity for decades. Rebellion isn’t a new thing. Those of you who have no idea of the excellent Patrick McGoohan and the brilliant TV programme The Prisoner, here’s another a link https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0061287/

Rebellion. It’s all we have. And it can work.

They told us, for example, that vinyl was dead. Once we got cd players and then now this streaming nonsense, they said that records would be defunct. They said digital music would take over the world, and that people would “benefit” from the convenience of the latest music (24 hours a day, 7 days a weeks) and sounds at their fingertips on their devices, without needing to “bother” with physical, tangible music like vinyl. Vinyl, all crackly and noisy, without the “clean” sound of enhanced digital. Vinyl – with all the problems with distortion and feedback – who under the age of 50 would want that? What’s happening now at the moment with vinyl? Massive resurgence, I hear you say? And it’s not just the dinosaur purists amongst us either. Can you believe it? “Young” people too? Well, I never.

They told us that books would be confined to libraries, and libraries would be relegated and consigned to online only. With kindle and audio-books – why would you want to bother with actually holding something and be inconvenienced with – wait for it – turning pages over? Hmmm. Sales of books have now gone up to 200 million in the UK and 650 million in the US of A. Yes, in America – the land of convenience, printed books sales are going up.

I’m not knocking assistive technology. If you’re disabled, with physical or mental limitations, then assistive technology is fantastic and can help you live some semblance of an independent life. That’s not what I am saying. What I’m saying is that technology should not have to interfere with all aspects of modern life if we don’t want it to, we should be allowed to choose. These technological advancements were supposed to help, but like many things, the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. Some of these well meaning developments have led to abuse of information and trust and have allowed hackers and unsavoury people with ill intent, easy access to the vulnerable and easily led. With further advancements the makers of electronic devices are hoping to give people the ability to have access and control of every aspects of your lives in one device. But what happens when you let your life be controlled by AI and the people in charge of that technology? You lose your independence and free will, and become reliant on someone telling you what to do. Might as well be in The Matrix.

I want to choose.

Football isn’t a commodity for match going fans (and those watching on the telly, like a ). It’s an experience. It’s not even just about the 90 minutes either. It’s about the whole day / weekend. I don’t need to remind you, if it was just about the 90 minutes, even some of the most hardened of us would have packed it in by 2013/14 season.


I don’t care what happens in the boardrooms. I don’t care unless it directly affects the team and frankly, I only care if there is something I can do, that can directly affect the decisions being made. I would love direct fan engagement, but given most of us cannot agree who our first choice 11 should be, there is no way a consensus can be reached across the whole fan base. It would be physically impossible to say that every Leeds fan can have the opportunity to be consulted in every decision made at Leeds United. Then again, there shouldn’t be. It’s not our money is it?

The things we can do? Choose how our match-day experience should be.

Namely, the right to pay by cash. It’s sterling, it’s legal tender – no one should refuse it. We are the customers, they are providing a service. That’s consumerism. Season ticket cards and gold membership / myleeds cards. Every Leeds fan needs to be able to flash something in their wallets / purses to show off that they are a Leeds fan, should the occasion arise. Paper tickets. It’s recyclable, it’s difficult to fake (unlike the QR codes on your phone which anyone with a decent phone can take a screenshot off) and it’s something that you can hold in your hand and keep as a memento of the day. These are tangible assets. They may be little, but they are something you can hold on to and treasure as a keepsake.

I’m not saying that I treasured, nor needed the tickets from Rochdale away in 2014, or any one of our lower league opponents in the League and FA Cup defeats, to help keep those memories alive. But, if you remember the lowest nadirs in your footballing life, it makes you enjoy the zeniths and apogees much more.

I appreciate some people do want to do everything on their phones, and so much in modern life is geared up to that. But it’s run of the mill, boring, everyday life.

Football is different. It’s not routine, it’s special. It’s not something you can describe easily, but it’s something you can hold onto. It’s a tangible asset. Can you imagine if I could bottle it up and sell it. I would make a mint!

Football fans, we too are tangible assets to the Club. I wish they would realise that and not dismiss us so readily at times. When the chips are down and we are losing, the matchgoing fans give the team the uplift they need. Look at the Wolves game and the Leicester performance. What a difference the crowd made. Yet the beer is crap, the food is crap and it’s overpriced. The stadium is ageing and the traffic around the ground is appalling at best. The touts are still making money by grabbing all the tickets that they can on ticket sales days and flogging them at extortionate prices to ordinary fans who haven’t got the skills and the tools to buy one themselves. As for all the fans that can’t make it to the games, they are still the ambassadors of Leeds United, spreading the gospel across all four corners of the globe. Something, anything for free would be great just to acknowledge them. Leeds supporters are some of the best in the country. There’s not many PL sides who can boast of such an amazing fan base.

Give us the recognition we deserve.