Saturday, June 16, 2007

Saturation Point

Overkill or What?

Well. Here we are in June. The middle of June. Still we suffer from football overkill. Papers are full of “non-stories” about the Stevens Inquiry into bungs.

Best comment I heard today was a commentator on Sky News who make the case that supporters just couldn't care less. If their manager or officials of the club have been a bit naughty in transfer deals – so what?

As long as the club is doing well – who cares? Yes, that's how low we have sunk.

Why should supporters care what skulduggery has gone on in the past to secure the services of overpaid, overpriced players at their club? Disregarding the moral dimension, they should care because as long as vast sums “disappear” in shady deals there is less chance of holding the clubs to account for their shabby treatment of supporters. Tickets overpriced? Too bad. Delia's dinners not up to scratch? Tough luck!

Simple scenario: if the club chairman thinks this or that player will make all the difference (rarely the case); what incentive is there for him to play by the rules and above board? None. Conversely, what incentive is there for him to involve the club in shady deals with other clubs, their officials or football agents? Many. Chances of getting caught? Almost nil. Lord Stevens is after the agents – not the clubs.

Bottom line: nothing of substance will change.

What is more irksome is the endless non-stories about football that populate the local press. Today is a good example. The back three pages are devoted to football. The lead story is the “non-story” about non-allegations by Lord Stevens about non-transgressions by some mangers at some football clubs. What a great story!

Lest anyone forget – four pages in are stories about Youssef Safri (a player of very little talent capped by a country of players with very little talent) who happens to be a NCFC player. The story is no story, just an ambling amusement of rambling by Safri about what he hope to do next season. Hopefully, though he forgets to mention it, his hopes include promotion to the Premiership. Instead we are treated to his estimation of the footballing prowess of Zimbabwe! The remaining stories on that page consist of the usual non-story transfer news and the sickening report that the grokles at Norwich are queuing up to part with their cash to get scarce season tickets! Sick?

Finally five pages in is the news that Beefy is to get a knighthood. There is some news of international cricket six pages in – but there are no reports about local teams, local players, or local leagues. Staggeringly shocking!

Make me PM. Get rid of Gordo. I'll ban football except for amateur matches. After all – that's where it started!!

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