I'm fast coming to the conclusion that the sooner English football suffers it own credit crunch and collapses under the weight of its own self importance the better.
I don't go out of my way to watch football nowaday's, but as I was around I had the game against Kazakhstan on whilst doing a few chores, the main one being the ironing*. Anyway, Ashley Cole made the kind of mistake that gave a goal away that if you or I had made we would be having an interview without coffee with our boss. I've seen a lot worse in a football match, Gary Sprake throwing the ball in to his own net eg, but for some reason the England fans started to boo him every time he touched the ball.
Bad as the mistake was there was I could see no reason for this booing, surely it would put off England who were leading 2-1 at the time; didn't these idiots want England to win** and qualify for the World Cup finals? Obviously not.
A bit later I turned on R5L and Alan Green was on hosting a phone-in. Apparently he had been his normal scathing self during the game and referred to the booing fans as morons. I was surprised by the vitriol of the callers who not only lambasted Cole but also Alan Green, on the basis that as they paid his wages via the telly tax he had no right to call the fans morons.
Anyway, it turns out that Cole once said that he wouldn't get out of bed for less than £55k per week which for some reason fans didn't like. Probably a stupid thing to say, but in a sport of arrogant young men with more money than a city banker*** this shouldn't really come as a surprise to the fans. It also turns out that when he scores a goal he goes to the opposing fans and makes gestures that imply they should shut up - I presume because he gets barracked by them. Surely footballer mocks fans is a dog bites mad story?
The more this type of thing goes on in English football the more people like me lose interest. Eventually advertisers will realise that the audience is drifting away and they won't pay the rates demanded by Ch3 and Sky. If that does happen football will be even more reliant on foreign owners. who are under different pressures**** and may be running short of money as well. If this happens the whole thing will implode faster than the housing bubble, which may be no bad thing given how debased the whole football ritual has become.
*It comes from a military background and ironing being about the one thing TGWo is crap at.
** They did, BTW, 5-1
*** Alan Sugar reckoned that is the only industry where the workers drive better cars than the Directors
**** West Ham are owned by an Icelander
West Ham United looked likely last night to become football’s latest victim of global financial turmoil.
Although the club denied it was up for sale after Bjogolfur Gudmundsson, the chairman, was said to have lost £230 million in the nationalisation of the Icelandic Landisbank, one source close to the club told The Times: “It is open to all comers. The only thing we want to know is where we find a billionaire who has still got all of his money after the credit crunch.”