The most powerful line in the entire article: "...You could get to your late 20s, dedicate your life to the sport, walk away and say, I didn't earn a living..."
From BBC Sport:
We have to get male swimmers engaged enough, early enough. Keep them in a sport which, ultimately, does not pay unless you are the best in the world. In football, you can be an average player and earn good money from the sport, but in swimming you have got to be the best.Swimming's dirty little secret is that it is a sport completely controlled by ad hoc monopolies. FINA is on the top all the while running the show like a multilevel marketing scam. The money moves quickly to the top but the swimmers scramble below to catch the pennies that fall out of their pockets.
Swimming was once considered an extreme sport. Ticker-tape parades were held for those that swam across the English channel. I was told by, Bill Ireland, in days gone by that each year 50,000 people would show up to watch an open water swim in Boston. Swimmers even became movie stars because swimming was the "Ironman" or the "X-Games" of it's day. Now it is a sport that happens every four years.
Solution: A new governing body has to step up and embrace all the economic opportunities that the "old boy" governing bodies resist. This includes tech-suits, gambling, and even venue changes where traditional races held in rectangle pools suddenly take place in beautiful and exotic locations like a bay in Fiji or a hot springs in Iceland while it is snowing.
Pools have to be redesigned for better spectator viewing pleasure so the fans and gamblers can enjoy the swimming from beneath the water instead of above it. i.e. A pool with a glass bottom in the shape of a contact lens so the swimmers look like mighty giants as they swim above you.
All of the above would make swimming exotic, sexy, marketable, pofitable and compelling. I envision fans paying top dollar to see a twelve-foot-tall, three-foot wide Chloe Sutton racing an equally statuesque Laure Manadou in a 400-free. Imagine an Milord Cavic racing an Ian Crocker and seeing the expressions on their faces as gasp for the wall!