Home nations football should be left as a thing of the past

The idea in principle seems like a good one. Get all the home nations together to play one another, and see who is the best.

Straight forward? Not quite. What has taken place of the once worthwhile is a pale imitation of home nation’s football played out between at least three sub-standard teams in front of a disinterested watching audience. Tommy Rooney takes a look at this international farce.

Last night Scotland faced Wales, while the previous night the Republic of Ireland came up against Northern Ireland.

How many attended the Wales and Scotland game last night? Little over 6,000. With the game being held in the 51,000 capacity stadium, the lack of interest from the general public is clear for all to see.

And why would anyone care about a tournament whose importance is close to nothing? European qualifiers, Champions League, Premier League, and the SPL are just a few of the competitions that have more gravitas than the current home nation’s tournament.

In bygone years the competition took on greater significance because of the relative lack of high profile competitions around, something that is no longer the case.

With the exclusion of England the tournament took a turn for the worse. Be it because of political reasons, timing, or England’s lack of desire to be there, why would any fan turn up to watch a second rate competition that, even if their side were to win, would still seem hollow with England’s absence?

Now Scotland and the Republic of Ireland gear up for a showdown that few people will be watching and few will care about. Rugby’s 6 Nations tournament attracts attention because it has a history and tradition, while most of the games are fiercely competitive – something the new football equivalent can only dream of. And while they can only dream of it, attention, spectators and interest will remain low.

Can anybody say that about a competition cobbled together as a PR exercise by Vauxhall?

The Home Nations was abandoned originally because of dwindling interest and so far there has been little to prove that there is any reason to revive it permanently.


Tommy graduated from Sheffield University in 2009 with a Journalism degree and has worked in various professional industry posts including the football print media.