There were once a few friends or maybe we should call them acquaintances who all liked to play football. They all had their own teams and played with slightly different rules. A few years back some of them realised that it was more fun to play each other as it got a bit boring and they didn’t really develop their game on their own so they invited some other teams to organise a common place where they all could play together.
This of course meant that they had to play according to the same rules and that took a while to sort out. It also meant that some didn’t have everything required to follow the new rules so everyone in the group had to chip in to help those teams out with pitches, kits or whatever was missing. In all the teams felt that yes it cost a little but we get more out of it as we now can improve our game by looking at them to see what they do better, we can sell or buy stuff to/from the other teams that they/we need to get better. As a group we get better and improve the game for everyone.
After a few years other teams around the area saw that this seems to a pretty decent idea and wanted to join. More different rules and strange habits to incorporate into the game but why not. The first group of teams had realised that if we don’t keep growing at some point we will stop improving as we all know the other teams to well. Again this cost a bit of money as suddenly there were more ideas to take into consideration and if we all wanted to improve we needed to play with the same rules. However, they came to the conclusion that some rules the teams could keep when they played among themselves as those was things they were used to and they didn’t really make a difference.
The membership fees increased and people in of team started to grumble a bit saying we did well on our own. However, they didn’t realise that the new pitch in their little village actually came from the membership money as well as the new better footballs, that the fact that you no longer could tackle someone so they broke their leg actually was a result of having to change the laws to agree with everyone else. They suddenly had more than 2 makes of football boots to chose from and the kits came in all sorts of colours. They did like the new additions to the club house menu as well….. All this because there were more teams involved and they could share information and ideas with each other. Yes it came with a cost but it also came with lots of benefits. After all they had been allowed to keep the rule of playing with short sleeves until Christmas though they had to let some other stuff go. But the important bit was that because they were in the organisation they had their say! The other teams could not make new rules without listening to them.
A few more years went by and more teams joined without much fuss. However, suddenly there were quite a few teams who joined that in some aspects weren’t on the same level as the others. Most of the teams thought this was fine, by helping each other we will all improve, the game will improve with more, better players and this will make us even stronger against other similar organisations or big teams out in the world.
Again there were costs to get these new teams ready to take part in the game on the same conditions as everyone else. Some got there quicker, some took longer and places in our area were still getting new football pitches but people didn’t notice so much because the voices complaining about other teams getting pitches were louder than the ones saying look we got a new pitch as well. Why is it that the voices complaining about what they didn’t get are always louder than the ones saying “look what we got”?
Some of the people who were complaining thought it would be better to leave the common organisation. We always did well on our own before and can still do it. We also have a good friend with many teams and though he lives quite far away we can play with him. It will be cheaper that way.
The good friend, though still a good friend, says well, we rather prefer playing with many teams in one go. It’s much easier, we know exactly what rules to play to as they are all in one organisation. It makes it cheaper for us, we don’t need to change things around all the time. We can still play you but it will be to our rules and you will have to pay for any extra costs. You can’t really say much about that as we are big and you now actually are quite little…
The other teams in the organisation say more or less the same. We don’t want you to leave. You have been with us for a long time and we have learnt a lot from you. You have been part of shaping us to what we are and though we all, like you, have had to compromise at times at least we have had our say. However, if you leave you won’t have a say any longer and if you want to play with us it will be to our rules and you paying for any extra costs. You were a big team once but now there are many big teams and as an organisation we are much bigger than you.
We want all the teams in the organisation to improve and get better as we know this will improve all of us, help us compete against the other big players out there. For this to happen there is cost involved but in the long run we will all benefit, especially the poorer teams. The organisation says to the grumbling team ” you only seem interested in winning not improving as that would come with a cost. You rather stand outside with no influence over the game than share the cost for all to improve.” There will be a time when you stand outside, you no longer win, you have no influence on the rules of the game and the costs will become higher and higher to keep up. But it’s your choice……..