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Is Football Set For WWE Style Overhaul thanks to Gen-Z fans?

The recent news of blue cards being introduced to football matches was enough to anger a lot of supporters but for Gen-Z fans those smaller changes don’t scratch the surface of the transformation they crave of the world’s most popular game.

What Do Gen-Z Fans want?

Now, we should stress that we’re unconvinced that the footballing hierarchy will go down this route but a recent study by Footballco Insights has found that a large proportion of younger fans want major changes to the traditional game of football.

The Realistic Suggestions

Amongst the study there is a vast range of changes floated by respondents. Some centre on quickening games up with shorter matches one suggestion; that’s on the tame side of things and is driven from a “highlight mentality” of younger viewers who have grown up needing to wait for very little. Further evidence of this can be found in another study by the same company where nearly half of Gen-Z fans in England said they weren’t fussed about watching England’s Euro 2024 games live.
This type of suggestion, whilst not for us, is something you could imagine being floated as an idea – even if it was introduced as a separate form of the game similar to Blast Cricket.

The Wild Take

Amongst the range of ideas to improve football was one that suggested our beloved game could learn a thing or two from WWE; that’s wrestling for those not “in the know”. We’re not entirely sure what this is supposed to mean but the theory from Footballco Insights was that a ‘storyline' and ‘characters’ is more compelling than the game of football itself.
A growing split of fans following specific players and managers rather than teams is perhaps the driving force of this view. Cristiano Ronaldo and Jose Mourinho are perhaps good examples of where this happens. To be fair, as ridiculous as we find the idea, we can see a scenario where a scantily clad Ronaldo taunts opponents whilst cheered from the corner by Mourinho, who has earlier given his compatriot a leg up courtesy of an underhanded eye poke to his opponent, which in our heads is Lionel Messi.
Jose-Mourinho
Mourinho has been known to whip up a crowd in his time.

But Why?

From a personal perspective, we detest these ideas. There is though some worrying logic in the minds of those Gen-Z fans. They live in a world where they have everything at their fingertips. When a goal is scored live, it’s a matter of seconds until it is clipped up for social media whilst “watch along” channels, such as Arsenal Fan TV, have huge viewership as people enjoy the fan reaction more than the actual match.
Even away from the fan content though, documentaries that go behind the scenes are a growing trend that bring fans closer to players hence ideas such as the aforementioned ‘storyline’ suggestion develop.

Again, we reiterate, we don’t see these changes happening anytime soon but it does put nonsense like sin bins and VAR into perspective. Of course, there is just the nagging doubt that dwindling subscription numbers might force the television companies to push for changes – money is king after all.

Despite our doubts, maybe we'll see Anthony Taylor and co stepping out on a Premier League pitch in a black and white striped shirt sooner rather than later.


Ash Munson

Ash specialises in the SEO content writing niche with a focus on sports - predominantly football. His journey as a sports journalist has seen him provide regular articles for a host of online publications including Colossus Bets, Football Whispers, Pundit Feed and many more.

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