On international nights why is my Twitter feed full of people completely apathetic to the England team? I think I know....
The North/South divide. For those of you who don't know, this is the imaginary line across England that effectively splits the haves (The South) and the have-nots (The North). My field of expertise is not geo-social economics so I'm not going to delve into the actual divide itself and instead I will talk about the footballing North/South divide.
This is the not the first time that the North/South divide has been used in association with football. Who could ever forget the classic football anthem, The Anfield Rap, which contained the memorable lyrics
"He gives us stick about the North/South divide, they've got the jobs, but we've got the sides"
The Anfield Rap may have been your typical football song fluff but there was truth in those lyrics.
Out of the teams currently in the top flight 13 are from North of Birmingham (or Birmingham itself in the case of Villa) and only 6 are from the South (Swansea of course being from Wales and, for the purposes of this article, do not count. Sorry Swans fans).
Out of those 6 teams from the south, they have won 19 league titles (Arsenal have 13 of those). You may recognise the number 19 in terms of league titles. It's the number of titles that Manchester United fans are constantly reminding us that they have won. So, Manchester United have won as many titles on their own as the rest of the Southern top-flight teams have won in total. For reference, the number of titles won by the teams from the North is 72.
Bearing in mind that the Football League started in 1888 it wasn't until 1930 that a Southern team won their first title (Arsenal).
From it's founding Football was a Northern sport. The majority of the South preferring Rugby, and it's only in the 50's that the title has started heading South on a regular basis (to anyone other than Arsenal). Indeed only 4 teams from the South have ever won a league title.
Two of the most supported teams in the world are from the North of England as well (Liverpool and Manchester United).
So, against this backdrop of Northern dominance of Football, where is the English FA based? That's right, London. Where are our cup finals held? That's right, London. When Wembley stadium was demolished where were the finals held? That's right, Wales. Even when we didn't have a national stadium to pay for, the FA couldn't bring itself to host the cup final in the North. We have an absolutely enormous stadium in the North. It's called Old Trafford. But the powers that be decided to play the cup final in ANOTHER COUNTRY rather than head north of the Watford Gap.
Since the 60's and prior to the England team going "on tour" after Wembley was knocked down, only 4 England internationals have been held in the North. Since it's re-opening in 2007 none have.
When you have the bulk of the top flight teams in the North, the majority of the successful teams and the majority of the national team playing their club games in the North, don't you think it might be in the interests of the FA to maybe let us see the National team once in a while?