Monday, 11 October 2010

Shall we move on from football?

Seriously, perhaps it's time to collectively decide to support an different game.

Most of the top players are repellent creatures, jumping from prostitute to prostitute in between greedy deals with dubious agents. Occasionally they break off from negotiations to record tasteless and grasping advertisements. Every so often they might play a game of football if their media appearances allow.

The club owners, when they aren't porn barons, are evil corporate entities with no interest in the game or the communities which founded and nurtured the clubs for generations.

Ticket prices are becoming ridiculous, and watching on pay-TV is prohibitively expensive too. Being a supporter is now little more than acting as a piggy bank, one with no right to express an opinion and no respect from clubs, players or the media.

Managers are becoming monsters, yet are afforded slavish respect by people posing as journalists on more and more pages of the newspapers. TV commentating is reserved for the partisan, the boring and the smug.

Most of the clubs are effectively, or nearly, bankrupt. They're operating on the same economic model as all the investment banks which have recently destroyed our economies. Some of them (Liverpool, Manchester and others) are in debt because they owe their owners the money said owners borrowed to buy said club. Eh?

FIFA is corrupt from top to bottom: both the individuals running the game and the organisation itself (World Cup profit $1.7bn, tax free: money spent on developing football in Africa: $70m: new FIFA offices: $200m).

So - to which sport shall we turn? I'm quite keen on fencing, but if it's violent, fast outside sport you want, how about (Gaelic) football, Hurling (both massive in Ireland and still amateur), or Aussie Rules?

In sum, the game's rotten to the core, especially at the top level.


Benjamin Judge said...

Corrupt owners, greedy agents, sexually indiscreet players, evil advertisers, unsupportable banking, money-grabbing television companies, mountainous debts... non of these things are half as upsetting to me as watching Rory Delap gracelessly wang a football into a sea of seven foot tall Stoke players.

There is a reason that football is called the beautiful game, at its best it can take the breath away. I like a lot of sports but no other has ever made me question the laws of physics whilst simultanously making the entire output of the impressionist movement look essentially a bit raggedy looking.

Any real football fan has a catalogue in their brain of moments so wonderful that they make them smile each time they think of them. Everything else is just a, often very interesting, sideshow.

By all means search for a new sport to watch. I'll keep your seat warm though. If you have a soul you will be back soon enough.

Benjamin Judge said...

Oh, by everything else I mean in football, not in life. Obviously.

The Plashing Vole said...

Well, that is the hidden flaw in my proposal. Football's just brilliant. I don't love it any more than I love the other sports I mention, but it is great.

There's room in the sport for Rory's wonderful ability. Leave him and the rest of the Stoke Supremos alone.

Anonymous said...

Come on vole - Stoke (as well as Blackburn, Bolton, and now I think about it, Wolves, should be forced to play in the Championship with no hope of promotion.)
“If God had meant football to be played in the air he would have put grass in the sky”
Brian Clough.
(and calling the US Salford Reds "Manchester" just plain pisses me off!)