Wednesday, January 17, 2007

A few days ago Lucy Pinder came in our office. I had my picture taken with her on the proviso that I give her another cover. This makes me a bit weird.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Seven Ways to Save Football

Ban Day-Tripping Fans
In the old days people who wore jester hats were rightly mocked by the general populace for being unfunny twats whose raison d’etre was to make the king laugh by standing on one leg and waving a stick about with a mini jester’s head on it. Theatres happily put paid to them, until football supporters started wearing their garb to the match a few years back. Now the stadia of every big club is choc full of out-of-town beauts dressed like they’ve just stepped off the set of Blackadder. Not only do these pricks spend the match taking pictures on their mobiles and getting out multi-coloured bits of tat they’ve just bought from the souvenir shop, but they get the words of the songs wrong, boo the team if there’s no goal after ten minutes and piss off early so they can get in the car and get their moan onto 606 nice and early. And they always wear the team shirt over a hooded top too.

Footballers Paid Minimum Wage
Up until the 60s, the maximum wage ensured footballers earned something akin to what the blokes who paid to watch them play got. By the 70s, soccer stars were earning very nicely, living in big mad houses, driving beige Jags and shagging provincial beauty queens. Despite the fact they earned ten times what everyone else did, we didn’t begrudge them their whack. Now though, Premiership footballers earn in one week more than most of us do in a year. The only solution is offer footballers a choice: either they accept wages that match their intelligence (ie: £5.30 per hour) or they jack in footy and go and find another job that doesn’t let them work two hours a day and offer an inexhaustible supply of townie slags to shag.

Ban Managers’ Post-Match Interviews
After every game, sour-faced managers will be interviewed about the match’s “controversial” incidents – which normally translates as a chance to slag off the ref. While the poor old man in black has a millisecond to decide on a decision, selectively myopic gobshites like Sam Allardyce, David Moyes and Mark Hughes will scan the touchline telly replays searching for some injustice. Fine, but if these managers want to spout their crap about a decision then the refs should be allowed to criticize their team selection, way of dressing and habit of taking padded envelopes from shady east European businessmen. Okay?

No More Foreign Chairman
In the old days, football clubs were run by “where there’s muck there’s brass” local businessmen who used their wealth (usually got from selling millions of meat pies or toilet rolls) get them one of the most prestigious roles in the community. They may have had all the sophistication and élan of Fred Eliot off Coronation St, but they left the team selection well alone in favour of eating cream cakes in the boardroom and having an affair with the manager’s wife. Nowadays, every British football club is ready to flash its heaving bosom to a corrupt Russian oligarch with a few billion roubles in the bank and his hand in Siberia’s arse pocket. The results are hopeless players on mega money, midnight kick offs and shady betting syndicates switching on and off floodlights at the whim of south east Asian bookmakers.

Sack Hyperventilating Touchline Commentators
In the golden days of Match of the Day, all we had was one commentator who would describe the events, getting mildly excited when there was a goal, while describing terrace aggro in beautiful detail. For the last ten years however, our enjoyment of the match has been spilt by the antics of blokes like Gary Newbon and Jeff Shreeve, decent football men forced to stride the touchlines of England, headphones glued to their heads pleading for ten seconds of Alex Ferguson’s time so he can confirm that yes, they will be trying to win the game in the second half.

Prohibit Corporate Jollies
You’ve followed your team through thick and thin, supporting them when it was just you and an OAP and his dog in the terrace, but now they’re in the big time the club has dropped you like a stone in favour of bloated bankers who spend most of the game in the hospitality tent, quaffing champagne and feeling the arses of the hostess who have to work there. The bit of the ground where you used to sit has been bulldozed in favour of some despicable corporate box, bought by a company who 20 years wouldn’t have even been able to spell “football” never mind entertain their clients at the match. But then again, how else are the clubs going to pay the obscene wages of the millionaire bladder kickers?

Encourage Old School Aggro
Back in the 70s, English football was ridden with hooliganism as games were stopped by rampaging yobs in massive flares, three star jumpers and furry hood parkas all knocking hell out of each other. Forget the nasty organised aggro of the 80s, a return of these mass Wild West free-for-alls with massive scarves blowing in the wind as Doc Marten faced platform boot would soon send the corporate leeches packing and encourage the return of real fans. Prices would plummet, the WAGS would disappear and we’d all come home from the game smelling of brown ale and roll-up ciggies. Top of the Pops would still be on Thursdays and there’d be power cuts and strikes every day of the week too.